Upskilling Supply Chain Supervisors

Diploma of Logistics – DEEWR Alternative Pathways Project

Firms in the Transport and Logistics industry are reconfiguring their vision to focus on servicing the whole supply chain. The ability to conceptualise the integrated process of what constitutes a supply chain and work effectively with that demand higher level skills in the current workforce. The need for high level technical skills is a direct result of new technologies, increased complexity and the impact of globalisation. Compounding this is a workforce that is under-qualified and has significant skill gaps at the higher end.

Fundamental to business survival and growth will be the capacity of management to develop and implement strategies for customer-focused and whole of supply chain solutions. There is an increasing need to develop more sophisticated management skills and new ways of thinking, particularly with respect to project management, logistics and supply chain management. In addition, people at this level are increasingly expected to provide technical support and leadership in their enterprise.

Current operator training at Certificate II and III level continues to be a mainstay the industry with this being met by established RTO arrangements.  At the diploma level there is an absolute dearth of any systematic approach to train the existing workforce.

In order to address these issues Optin Pty Ltd, in partnership with Transport and Distribution Training Victoria (TDT Vic) are piloting an innovative approach to training that emphasises practical, work-based learning and effective partnerships between training organisations and employers.  This qualification incorporates the formal assessment and/or delivery of key technical skills and competencies.

The pilot project offers an innovative new employment-based pathway for existing workers in the T&L industry to achieve the Diploma of Logistics through a blended program involving block release off the job training, RPL and workplace learning. This pilot supports the development of new approaches to training for this higher level technical qualification which includes significant emphasis on skills development in the workplace. We believe that this model has the potential to inform and have wider application across the National Training System.

This project focuses on two existing groups already working in the T&L industry with a view to improving supervisory and management competence and opening up career paths:

  • supervisors and middle managers, who have worked their way up through the organisation, but without formal qualifications, and
  • people working in operational support roles, especially women, who have entered the industry laterally and who are often pigeon holed into roles with little career advancement opportunities.

The target groups present an exciting opportunity to implement a comprehensive training regime built around gap training, RPL and workplace learning to develop higher level skills and achieve a qualification. Typically these workers are in the industry, some for an extended time, and may not need the general industry orientation or rotations that a new entrant requires, however they will likely require the specific instruction to master the technical and specialist skills needed to meet the challenges this industry faces now.