Increased demand for skilled warehouse employees

5 mins read time

Online shopping increased in 2020

It’s no secret that 2020 has been the year for online shopping. As bricks and mortar stores have been forced to close their doors for the second time due to COVID-19, trends for online shopping have been growing exponentially.

With this, 87% of British households have made an online purchase in the past year, and although this shift in customer behaviour is hardly new, the global pandemic has seen a rapid surge in the number of customers shopping online. By 2024 it is now estimated that almost a third of all purchases will be made online, showing that digital shopping is a trend that is unlikely to decrease anytime soon.

Increase in demand for warehouse employees

To facilitate the increased rise in online sales, many companies across the UK have scrambled to increase their warehouse capacity. This unprecedented increase in digital shopping has led to a soar in demand for not only larger physical warehouse space, but for skilled and reliable warehouse employees.

With Christmas fast approaching, M&S made an announcement last month that they are hiring 500 new employees to work in their distribution centre, to prepare for their most “digitally focused Christmas yet” (Retail Gazette). Delivery giant Amazon have also encouraged customers to buy their Christmas shopping in advance this year, as a bid to minimise delayed orders (The Telegraph). With this new transition in customer behaviour, it is hardly a surprise that the demand for logistical employees is growing.

However, it is not all plain sailing in the logistics and warehouse job market. Recent data compiled by leading recruitment company Monster in July 2020, showed that out of 2,600 employees and job seekers asked:

  • 71% of employees in logistic, warehouse and delivery type roles said they would consider searching for a new role within the next 12 months
  • 60% of warehouse, delivery and logistic employees spent their time during lockdown looking for a new role

Although the demand for these types of roles is increasing, employee satisfaction in the industry is considered low. Factors that could lead to poor job satisfaction include lack of support from Managers and CEOs, poor working conditions, low pay, not enough training, and lack of opportunity to progress in the firm.

people in warehouse

How could warehouse apprenticeship training help?

Apprenticeships can help in several ways. If your organisation pays the apprenticeship levy, then you can utilise this to support essential training.

    • By taking pressure off internal managers to provide all training. Managing an efficient workforce is not always an easy task. It requires a great amount of training, expertise, and skill to get the most out of your people. Lifetime’s warehouse apprenticeship programmes free the time up that Managers would normally be using on training new and junior employees, so that their energies can be focused elsewhere.
    • Enhancing and developing the skills of current employees. It’s true that many firms are not getting the most out of their teams. Employers need people who are quick thinkers, use their initiative and work well in a team. Apprenticeship programmes allow firms to upskill current employees, leading to an increase in efficiency.
    • Investing in people to increase retention. According to a report by the Skills Fundraising Agency, 80% of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in overall employee retention. Investing in employees can lead to feeling more valued in their role, which also helps boost motivation and efficiency.
  • Extra personal and professional support for apprentices from their trainer. With Lifetime’s apprenticeship programmes, learners will have guided professional support from their personal apprenticeship Trainer, ensuring they can get the most out of their training.
man in warehouse

Lifetime’s apprenticeship programmes

At Lifetime, we have adapted to the new landscape of online retail, with new apprenticeship programmes in:

  • Supply Chain and Warehouse Operative
  • Warehouse Management
  • Trade Supplier

Our logistics apprenticeship programmes are designed to develop the right behaviours; integrity, honesty and reliability – as well as the necessary skills; moving and handling, packing and processing and customer service – to make sure your workforce are one well-oiled machine.

And when it comes to apprenticeship recruitment our service is free to all our partners. It can be a source of quality candidates for intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships.

We understand what a big part storage and warehousing plays within the supply chain and are invested in helping retail, e-commerce and logistics businesses to offer the best warehouse and distribution apprenticeships possible.

Female delivery driver in truck

Lifetime’s latest report uncovers how apprenticeships address current skills challenges and recruitment gaps in the last mile of delivery, with career pathways built to last. Access the full report.

Bringing your A Game to the final mile report