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Is warehouse work right for you?

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We take it for granted that when we go to the supermarket we’ll be able to pick up our usual goods. Or be able to order something online and have it delivered the next day. 

Nearly everything we use or consume has passed through a warehouse as part of the logistics chain. Warehouse receive, store and then despatch goods to customers, whether that’s food, electrical goods, furniture, building materials or chemicals. It’s a huge industry - 1.7 million people work in distribution and warehousing in the UK. 

In Britain we spend more online shopping per household than any other country, and this surge looks here to stay. Customers demand their goods are delivered quickly and efficiently and warehouses play a key role in this. 

At HR GO we’re recruiting more candidates for warehousing jobs than ever before, permanent as well as temporary. As a warehouse operative, could you play an essential role in keeping products of all shapes and sizes moving safely and efficiently? Find out some plus points of a role in this fast-paced sector. 

It can be varied work

As a warehouse operative, you’ll be part of a team receiving, storing and despatching goods from a warehouse. You’ll also check everything coming in and going out in case any items are missing or damaged, signing a delivery form when you’re happy that the goods are complete. 

Another task will be to help load and unload goods to and from a vehicle, either by hand or with mechanical handling equipment like a forklift (your employer might arrange forklift training for you).

Record keeping is also important, as it’s crucial to know stock levels and the location of goods in a warehouse. Although most warehouses now use complex inventory systems to keep track of stock levels, smaller companies might still use more basic records. 

Bear in mind that working for a small company, your role will probably involve lots of different tasks. If you get a job in a larger warehouse though, you could find you specialise in just a few tasks. 

Jobs can be low entry level 

Although you don’t need specific skills or qualifications to work in a warehouse, it might help to have GCSEs in English, maths and IT at grades 9 to 4 (which used to be A* to C). 

You can often get into warehousing by temping or doing seasonal work, plus there are also apprenticeships in warehousing and storage available. 

Shifts can be flexible 

Most industrial warehouses keep running seven days a week, and some 24/7 around the clock. That means there are bound to be shifts to suit you, whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time, or prefer to work mornings or at night. 

At busy times, like in the run up to Christmas, there’ll also probably be plenty of overtime on offer. 

You can work your way up 

In such a large sector, there’s huge potential for starting in a basic role and working your way up. 

With the right experience and on-the-job training, you could start off as a warehouse operative and move up to warehouse team leader, warehouse supervisor, warehouse manager and beyond. 

Other roles are vital to keep industrial warehouses running like clockwork. Think health and safety, people management and security, for example. 

Find out more about roles in warehousing, as well as a host of other industrial jobs, here.

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