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Recalibrating Supply Chain Skills

A Supply Chain Skills Industry Roundtable has explored the major change underway across and within supply chains due to automation, robotics, big data and other disruptors.

The Project Reference Group (PRG) of the Supply Chain Skills Cross Sector project convened the roundtable, held in Melbourne on 27 September, to assist in its preparation of a Case for Change to be submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) on 22 December. The PRG, consisting of subject matter experts from across the Industry Reference Committee (IRC) network, is overseeing the review of supply chain related Training Package components.

The event was also live webcast and included an interactive survey allowing for attendees and webinar participants to respond.

Keynote speaker Simon Rowe, Associate Director – Digital Supply Chain Enablement at KPMG, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the future of supply chains and the impact of new technologies on workers in the industry.

“The accelerating application and implementation of disruptors will reshape, resize and recalibrate the workforce and the skill sets and capabilities required.”

The roundtable involved a panel of supply chain experts from some of Australia’s foremost companies.

Vicky Kent, Training specialist- Rail at Rio Tinto said that with technology evolving rapidly, adaptability to change is now a valued staff attribute. “We are developing our drivers in diagnostic and maintenance skill sets to enable the operation of autonomous vehicles.”

The forum heard that supply chain skills for the future will be digital, analytical, and customer-focused. People will acquire these skills using a granular approach to learning throughout their careers. The vocational education and training (VET) system was better placed to meet this demand than higher education programs because VET can offer more modular training through Skill Sets and Units of Competency.

AIS CEO, Robert Adams explained how the Supply Chain Skills Cross Sector project was working to help industry shape the supply chain workforce of the future. It was identifying common skills needs and looking to minimise duplication of Units of Competency across Training Packages as well as removing obsolete units. As manager of this project, AIS is committed to a rigorous, evidence based approach to presenting a Case for Change.

The cross-sector project is one of nine commissioned by the AISC.

After the Roundtable, the PRG had a follow-on meeting to discuss the findings of in-depth research undertaken by the AIS Project Team.

The Project team is continuing to work on the key areas that were outlined at the September PRG meeting and will provide a progress report prior to the next meeting scheduled for mid-November.

The PRG values the feedback and advice that can be offered by all stakeholders associated with the supply chain. To keep up-to-date with the latest news and project updates, register your interest here. An updated project page can also be found here.