Ukrainian logistics: how to become a professional

(from the issue №1, 2017) The volume of transport, storage market, courier and postal services in Ukraine is over 6% of GDP. There are 15,000 companies in this sector and 30% of them have more than 250 employees. At the same time, the new version of the List of knowledge and specialties industries for higher education the specialty “Logistics and Supply Chain Management” is not available. That is, according to the logic of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, there is no necessary to teach that profession in universities. That issue was raised during the discussion panel “Logistics. Work without education?” held in January in Kiev.

The initiator of the event was the Association “Ukrainian logistics alliance” (ULA), technical organizer – the international business magazine “Community” (information partners – International sea magazine “Shipping” and Internet portal “Logist.fm”).

“There are 1,5 mln people employed in the field of logistics in Ukraine. But this is not a specialty in higher education today. And there are a lot of signals from businesses about the lack of qualified staff, both managers and line staff. And our task is to draw the attention of the relevant structures to this,” said Managing Director of Ukrainian Logistics Alliance Yuri Gnatovsky.

The discussion was attended by representatives of logistics companies and associations of the country, infrastructure and education ministries, national universities. The president of the ULA Maria Grigorak said that thanks to the efforts of the Alliance in the early 2000s the specialty “Logistics” was included in the mentioned “List of knowledge and specialties…” But the April 2015 decision of the Cabinet of Ministers approved a new document (at the request of representatives of the Ministry of Education – in accordance with the international classifier), in which the “Logistics” was again absent.

At the same time, said Maria Grigorak, on the basis of logistics efficiency rating, held under the auspices of the World Bank, in 2016 Ukraine ranked 95 position of 160 countries in terms of competence in logistics. The need for new industry professionals, according to representatives of the “ULA”, is no doubt. The volume of logistic services market in Ukraine is 131 billion UAH, or about $ 6 billion. Maria Grigorak stressed that, according to many experts, the potential of the domestic market reached $ 100 billion.

Managing Director of Zammler Group Viktor Shevchenko said that in 2016 the company considered more than 180 resumes from job seekers, 30 of them were entitled to a job interview. But only 2% of professional logisticians were present among those applicants. “There is a huge bust of lawyers and economists in our country, who are then registered in the employment centers, but the high demand specialty is removed from the “List…”. Business, they say, can do everything, but we must at least sometimes to help him,” said Viktor Shevchenko.

The nature of an education in this area has also become a subject of discussion. Deputy Chairman of the State Employment Service, Serhii Kravchenko noticed the gap between education in universities and the needs of employers. For example, students learn the world economy and “macro-processes”, but rather “float” in bacis knowledge of own profession.

According to the president of the international corp. “Grand” Volodymyr Spivakovsky, the current way to train future Ukrainian logisticians in the national universities, is a dead end, as education in national schools is out of date, and the quality is sufficiently lost, at least – in logistics area. In this situation it is necessary to involve the world universities, providing them with a comfortable environment to work in Ukraine. “If we say that we want to withdraw Ukrainian logistics at the world level, our education should have the same level. It is especially important that the student had the opportunity to work on a specialty, even in the “school year – a year of work” format. And then, when receiving the diploma, it will be a specialist, expected in leading companies,” he stressed.

As Logistics Committee Manager of the European Business Association Yulia Malich said, the specialty “Logistics” is available at almost all universities in Europe, in various forms – marine, automotive etc. Duration of training is two to four years (bachelor).

According to the professor of the logistics of the National Aviation University Svitlana Smerichevskaya, the education should outpace the industry, while the logistics business today is far ahead of profile education. And to match the current situation, the logistics in the field of Ukrainian education should be presented not as a specialty, but on more important level, as a branch of knowledge.

Reaffirming the need for the logistics education in universities, the executive director of the company “Delivery” Natalia Gerasimenko stressed that the company will not recruit the professional “grown up” by his own experience. “First of all we are looking at having a diploma, so today’s topic is highly relevant,” she said.

The ULA’s president Maria Grigorak, as a summary, noted that the current system, under which the business is forced to choose a “corporate” universities and prepare the “own” professionals, is uncomfortable. “There is no need to reinvent the wheel: there are competency standards developed by the European Logistics Association, which were supported by almost all European countries. They prescribed levels for both bachelors and masters. This should be the basis for further discussion,” she said.

The outcome of the event was a letter sent to the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Lilia Grinevich (a copy of – to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, the Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan) for assistance in the return of the specialty “Logistics and Supply Chain Management” in the List of knowledge and specialties industries for higher education, approved the government of Ukraine.

Serhiy Lyalikov, “Shipping”

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