Employers are gearing up for peak times with new staff, it would seem, after a survey by The Manpower Group found that employment prospects for the transport sector are +5% for 2015 Q4.

This is an improvement on the group’s forecast for Q3, which predicted an outlook of -2%.

The company spoke to 133 employers from the transport industry which, it should be noted, did include representatives from the passenger transport sector, although Manpower was unable to disclose what percentage of participants this was.

The group believes that the reason for the spike outlined in the survey lies with the upcoming holiday season, which traditionally sees hauliers upscaling their operations to cope with consumers’ Christmas shopping.

The revolution of Black Friday in the UK, added Manpower, is adding to the demands on transport employers.

Simon Edwards, operations director at Manpower said: “Last year, retailers and delivery companies took a lot of flack for the backlog of deliveries caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount events. As a result, we’re seeing many delivery networks re-evaluating the levels of their seasonal workforces - and also engaging them earlier - to handle the extra demand generated by pre-Christmas sales.”

Edwards added that the bump in employers seeking new blood is likely to intensify the sector’s skills shortage. “With more employers competing to hire the best people, talent shortages are set to worsen.

“Driver shortages, for instance, are making it difficult for logistics businesses to respond quickly during peak periods.”

Schemes working to bring young people into the industry such as Think Logistics, headed up by Abbey Logistics MD Steve Granite, will become crucial to the sector according to Edwards.

He said: “The sector as a whole must make itself more attractive to young people to secure its future. Diversity is key and we’re working with a number of organisations looking to attract new talent into the industry from a variety of backgrounds.”

Steve Granite said: "Think Logistics, in partnership with Career Ready, are the bridge between employers and schools/colleges and we are aiming to create a talent pipeline of young people and help give those school leavers a career opportunity. The final piece in the jigsaw is employers getting involved and engaging with their local schools via the Think Logistics program.

"We have the young people who want to hear about our industry, now the employers need to play their role!”