The logistics sector is still in the grips of a significant recruitment problem which could potentially cause the nation to grind to a halt, according to a new white paper.

A recent survey conducted by Talent in Logistics (TiL) found only eight per cent of young people consider the sector to be an attractive career option – and an astounding 42 per cent don’t even know what logistics is.

With only nine per cent of the current workforce being under 25 – and 45 per cent being over 45 – time is running out for the sector before it experiences a “devastating skills deficit”, TiL said.

Nearly 500 students and teachers attending the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition took part in the research, which also revealed significant concerns around diversity, career opportunities and salary.

A quarter (26 per cent) of the young people quizzed said they do not believe there is gender diversity within the logistics sector.

Furthermore, only 18 per cent have been spoken to at school or sixth form about logistics as a career path.

Most said they were unaware of the diversity of roles available within logistics, which can range from facilities managers and data analysts to freight co- ordinators and materials planners.

“The perception of logistics is arguably the biggest problem facing the sector when trying to recruit new talent,” said Ruth Edwards, business manager, Talent in Logistics.

“As an organisation, we want to promote the importance of recruiting talent from groups that are currently under-represented in the logistics industry.”

“It’s only by future-proofing the nation’s currently thriving logistics sector that we can keep the UK moving,” she added.

While driver shortages and skills gaps are already taking their toll, the biggest hurdle is the sector’s ageing population and the lack of millennials coming up through the ranks to replace them, the organisation said.

“We are calling upon the sector and the education system to play their part in ensuring young people are aware of the many amazing opportunities and career paths available within logistics,” Edwards concluded.