Logistics and supply management employs about two million people in the UK (one in 12 of the working population). Without it most business activities wouldn't function.
- TARGETjobs – Logistics, transport and supply chain
- Prospects – Transport and logistics
- CILT UK: The guide to careers in logistics and transport - and Careers information for graduates
- Skills for Logistics
- CILT UK: A Career in Supply Chain Management
- Guardian Careers: Supply chains and buying: your career options in retail
These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates.
They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.
The main professional associations for this sector include:
- The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) (CILT UK)
- Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS)
- UK Warehousing Association (UKWA)
- Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD)
- Women in Logistics UK
- Humanitarian Logistics Association
Making contacts can be helpful for success in this sector. Some jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:
- Graduate Connections – graduates happy to give you information and advice about the kind of work they do
- social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, which is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities
- Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice
- Career Mentoring – mentoring programme for Newcastle University students.
Or see our other occupational pages for more options.
Roles & Skills
The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.
Supply chain manager
Skills employers look for
Employers look for skills including:
- numeracy, analytical abilities and strong problem solving skills
- leadership and people management capacity
- interpersonal and communication skills, including motivation, influence and persuasion
- time management, planning and organising
- problem solving, decision making and using initiative
- the ability to work under pressure
Internships and work placements can give you vital experience in this sector.
Internships and placements
Most large graduate employers will offer summer or year placements in their operations departments. This is especially true of the retail, engineering and fast moving consumer goods sectors.
See Finding work experience for websites advertising placements.
TARGETjobs also lists relevant internships and placements.
For experience in smaller companies or specific areas of work contact individuals who work in the sector. Be specific about why you are writing and what you are looking for. It helps if you can explain your motivation and suitability to work for that organisation.
Informational interviews or work shadowing can give you insight. This is true in roles where it is difficult to get hands-on or paid experience as an undergraduate, such as operations management.
Find local companies offering work experience in the North East Graduate Directory - a database searchable by industry sector.
Part-time work within the sector is possible and could help you to gain contacts and develop your knowledge of the industry.
Examples of relevant opportunities include: warehousing, storage, retail and administration. Use Finding a part-time job to search for opportunities.
If you are having difficulty finding related experience, consider:
- volunteering – charities often have supply chain opportunities or roles to develop relevant skills
- extra-curricular projects – see the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund and ncl+ Funding for projects for opportunities
- on-campus opportunities and student societies – see ncl+
- developing entrepreneurial skills – see Rise Up
- linking your thesis or dissertation with a company project. Speak to your module leader or project supervisor to check if this is allowed
There are many vacancy sources for the logistics and supply chain sector listed below.
- CILT UK: Logistics and Transport jobs
- Supplychain-jobs.com - distribution, logistics, operations, purchasing, supply chain, transport and warehouse jobs
- Supply Management Jobs
- Careers-Guide.com - logistics and transport jobs by region
- Careers in Logistics
Graduate schemes and entry level jobs
Specialist recruitment agencies
Not all jobs are advertised. You can approach companies or find work through networking in the industry.
Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.
Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.
UKWA allows you to search for logistics organisations by service or location.
See Finding a graduate job for more vacancy sources.