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Supply chain advancing in tech, but struggling to attract young workers?



The supply chain industry in Asia Pacific is struggling to attract young talent.

Technology has changed the type of skillsets required in supply chain roles, but new research revealed the industry is not prepared for the advancement in tech.

Research conducted by Bastian Consulting, revealed that the overwhelming majority of respondents think graduates are unlikely to apply for roles in supply chain.  

Seventy-two per cent of respondents said graduates are more likely to explore roles in  sectors other than supply chain.

Why are young people avoiding jobs in a booming industry?

The survey of more than 500 supply chain executives from Australia, New  Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand, showed that 76 per cent of respondents say there is not enough  being done to raise awareness of the opportunities available in the supply chain. 

“Over the past 12 months, supply chain has made the headlines and made the public more  aware of its important role in society as well the major contribution it makes to the global economy. These results clearly show that the industry can do more to communicate the  diverse opportunities available in this growing and exciting sector,” Tony Richter, Founder of  Bastian Consulting said. 

“We’ve never been busier… it is a bit puzzling as to why the staff is not available” tony says.

Respondents were also in agreement that employers are not doing enough to engage with  young people, as 70 per cent said organisations are lacking in apprenticeships or graduate  recruitment program opportunities.

Industry needs to do more to “communicate the diverse opportunities available”

Tony Richter says that while there is a lot of investment going into  technology, the industry needs to do more to invest in raising awareness of the profession  as well as market the many opportunities available to young people.

“People use to think about logistics as warehousing and trucking, transport and forklifts. From a diversity perspective, it was almost entirely male driven”

Tony says.

Tony adds that the sector is on an evolutionary journey, but notes there is more work to be done in terms of the gender balance.

In New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, the majority of survey respondents think there is a gender imbalance across the supply chain workforce.

On the contrary, just over half of respondents from Australia and Thailand do not think there is a gender  imbalance issue in the supply chain industry. 

How does supply chain tackle this?

“The tech side of supply chain see’s more gender balance. Not only supply chain, but the tech sector as a whole,” Tony says.

Interestingly, despite the perception that the supply chain sector is grappling with an ageing  workforce, less than half of respondents said there is an ageing workforce issue in  supply chain.  

However, he admits diversity in supply chain is going to be a long term journey,

“Typically in the warehouse and operational areas, that are really male dominant in terms of culture,” Tony says.

"There needs to be a lot of work around investing, encourage and welcoming in those environments. But it won't happen overnight" 

Technology is playing a huge role in supply chain and its changing the game

Just over  half of respondents said technology has changed the type of skillsets required in  supply chain roles. Respondents were more united in their view that the industry is not  ready for this change, as 68 per cent of respondents said that the industry is not prepared for the  shift in skillsets that will be required.  

Tony on the growth of digital supply chains.

Tony says AI and blockchain are a “huge” focus, especially when it comes to adapting the technology to supply chain.

“One of the big areas we’re seeing a lot of focus on right now is implementation and integration.”

Tony notes the opportunities in connectivity of multiple technologies, in a logistics or supply chain environment, is in demand.

“One of the biggest issues facing the supply chain industry is a lack of talent”

Tony says.

This is clearly  being felt across the entire APAC region.

“Creating an inclusive culture, equal opportunities and career development programs alongside a united effort to  demonstrate that this industry is more than just forklifts and warehouses, should be high on  the agenda for any business looking to attract new talent in this sector,” Tony concluded.  

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Visa’s multi-billion investment in European open banking platform



Payments technology company Visa has confirmed it has signed a deal to buy Swedish open banking platform Tink

The payment tech company is set to hand over $2.15 billion for the acquisition, one of the largest investments for the company.

The total financial consideration included cash and retention incentives.

Visa says Tink would retain its brand and management team, and its headquarters would continue to operate as normally in Stockholm.

Visa is now set to fund the deal from cash on hand and the acquisition would have no impact on Visa’s previously announced stock buyback programme or dividend policy.

In January, Visa and financial technology company Plaid called off their $5.3 billion merger agreement following a U.S. government lawsuit aimed at stopping the merger on antitrust grounds

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Regulators send urgent danger warning to global airlines



Airlines across the world have been sent an urgent warning by regulators

As parts of the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, and consumer confidence in travel peaks, airlines are being urged to check a certain type of aircraft that millions of people fly on each and every year.

Regulators have called for more rigorous checks when pulling some Airbus Aircraft out of pandemic storage, following flawed cockpit readings that can suggest blocked sensors.

Pilots rely on airspeed readings obtained from external probes known as pitot tubes, which can become blocked by insect nests or dirt if they are not properly sealed during storage.

Multiple airlines forced to abort takeoffs

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency confirmed that recently, airline operations have become disrupted due to incidents involving the A320 range of aircraft.

“an increasing number of operational disruptions have been reported due to airspeed discrepancies” as they return to the air.

A spokesperson said the events included commercial flights and in most cases led to aborted takeoff. “EASA had no reports of any resultant injuries, aircraft or system issues,” she said.

Asked whether passengers had been on board, an Airbus spokesperson said it did not have a breakdown between passenger, freight or technical check flights.

Recent reports have now prompted Airbus to carry out further computer simulations which suggested that problems with two out of three sensors may affect the plane’s stability during take-off. The agency noted however that none of these events happened in operations.

The Airbus spokesperson said these follow-up actions were precautionary and that safety was its chief priority.

“Alarming” Rise in Cases

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency first reported an “alarming” rise in August 2020. The agency saw a rise in the general number of cases of unreliable cockpit indications during the first flight of jets leaving storage.

It called on operators of all makes and models of passenger aircraft to be vigilant.

Pilot rustiness, maintenance errors and a loss of expertise in the supply chain due to job cuts have also raised concerns.

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Concerns for Press Freedoms as Apple Daily announces closure date



Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will stop operating on Thursday

The tabloid’s parent company, Next Digital said confirmed the news after national security police arrested another employee of the troubled newspaper.

The recent events bring the 26 year operations of the popular tabloid to a close.

Apple Daily is popular within Hong Kong. The newspaper, which mixes pro-democracy discourse with racy celebrity gossip and investigations of those in power, has escalated alarm over media freedom and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.

In a statement on its website, Next Digital stated that the decision to close the newspaper, which employs about 600 journalists, was taken “due to the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.”

Last weeek authorities in Hong Kong froze assets of companies linked to the newspaper and arrested five executives.

On Wednesday, it arrested a columnist on suspicion of conspiring to collude with a foreign country or foreign forces.

Authorities have revealed their concern over dozens of Apple Daily pieces that may have violated the security law, the first instance of authorities taking aim at media articles under the legislation.

There has now been an outcry from rights groups, media organisations and Western governments, who have criticised last week’s raid of the Apple Daily newsroom. Those who state press freedom has been violated.

The Apple Daily has come under increasing pressure following the arrest of its since tycoon owner and Beijing critic, Jimmy Lai.

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