President of the European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB), Rob van Hoesel, has called on the wooden pallet and packaging sector to update its focus on staff recruiting and retention. It needs to ensure it can attract and hold onto high-quality staff for the future.
The head of the organization said the industry must adapt its operations to provide rewarding careers and personal development, and communicate its strong ethical characteristics to potential employees, to give it an advantage in an increasingly competitive jobs environment for companies. Large numbers of staff have left positions across many sectors since Covid, while younger people coming into the market have new priorities to cater to, he added.
“Similar to those in many other industries, pallets and packaging businesses are facing a recruitment challenge, which we only expect to increase in the years ahead,” said van Hoesel. “People are no longer just looking for financial rewards, they are looking to work for businesses that give them flexibility and opportunities to learn and develop, which have ethically sound operations and make a positive difference to society. We need to make sure we tick all these boxes in order to attract the highest caliber staff.”
He added that the wooden pallets and packaging industry already had many of the ethical credentials today’s employees were looking for.
“The wooden pallets and packaging business is inherently ethical, based on a raw material that is endlessly renewable, and manufactures, repairs and reuses its products until they are recycled at the end of their useful life. With a majority of wood from managed, sustainable sources, the industry encourages tree planting, which helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It has care for the environment at its heart and, as illustrated during the pandemic is an industry that is essential to the smooth running of the global economy,” he said. “These are just some of the attributes which make it an exciting place to work and attractive to the younger generation, and we need to make sure we communicate this well to potential employees.”
He added that companies in the industry needed to keep up to date with technological developments, to help them attract staff and compete well into the future.
The subject of attracting and retaining staff will be one of those addressed at the 70th FEFPEB congress, which will be held on September 28-30 in Florence, Italy. Other topics will include sustainability, reforestation, and the future of the pallets and packaging sector.
The event will include a one-day tour around some of Italy’s leading pallet and packaging businesses.