How is Brexit affecting jobs in Supply Chain?

How is Brexit affecting jobs in Stockport & Greater Manchester

With continued uncertainty over exactly what will happen after Brexit, one department is being affected more than others – Supply Chain. Question marks over customs arrangements and trade tariffs mean that how to most efficiently get goods from overseas suppliers and deliver products to customers is likely to get more complicated.  And we’re already seeing the impact this is having on the job market in this sector.

Despite many companies in manufacturing and engineering looking to cut costs, the job market remains buoyant.  There is a huge shortage of workers across most sectors, and supply chain is no exception, so there are many vacancies out there, and Brexit won’t change this.

Efficient supply chains ensure businesses can get their products to customers more quickly than competitors, however, there is likely to be increased red tape on getting goods in and out of the UK. Companies who wish to remain competitive on this front will need to handle the extra work load to keep things running smoothly.

The two main roles we’re seeing a big increase in demand for workers are Import and Export Clerks, handling the paperwork to get goods shipped, Expeditors to keep on top of any blockages in the process, and Supply Chain Analysts to ensure the company keeps on top of any challenges that crop up.

Rather than affecting staffing levels, many companies are changing how they recruit to accommodate for the uncertainty around at the moment.  Instead of looking at permanent recruitment, many companies are shifting to temporary and fixed-term contracts to give them more flexibility in their hiring.

For those already in a secure permanent position and looking to move, you may find it more of a challenge to change job if you aren’t willing to sacrifice some of that security.  If you’ve ever considered contracting, tempted by the more flexible working hours, increased salary, and the variety on offer, you might find now is a great time to make the jump.

Even if you want for something permanent, temporary contracts offer a great way to get a foot in the door with many companies: you’ll have an opportunity to apply for roles that come up just like any other internal candidate.

However, it isn’t all good news for everyone.  While some companies are looking to keep their supply chain running smoothly, other manufacturers are looking for make cost savings to absorb the impact of any lost overseas sales or increasing tariffs.  The biggest cost for a business is usually staff, and so many larger employers are looking for areas to reduce headcount.

Unfortunately, departments like Supply Chain which save businesses money rather than generate profit directly, are often the first hit.

Yet for every company cutting staff, there are others hiring. If you are facing redundancy, don’t get disheartened; those companies that are still hiring are typically those that see greater value in the department, and so you’re likely to find yourself with a better role in the long term.

There’s that old saying that opportunities come out of a crisis, and when it comes to jobs in supply chain, this couldn’t be more true at the moment!  Departments are predicting an increase in workload and many are looking to expand their teams to accommodate it, creating new opportunities for both entry level candidates as well as senior professionals who can hit the ground running.

For career advice and support in securing your next job in Supply Chain, get in touch with Keli Hewitt, our Account Manager for the manufacturing and engineering sector who specialises in Procurement and Supply Chain Recruitment for Stockport and South Manchester.