From weapons tally cards to remote warehousing in Weipa: Craig’s decades of change
TAFE Queensland educator, Craig Taylor, achieved a momentous milestone in his career this year, four decades of service to the Australian Government.
Prior to his 18 year teaching career with TAFE Queensland, Craig was a soldier in the Army for 22 years, bringing his extensive knowledge gained in the field of logistics to his teaching role.
“I retired from the Army as a warehouse manager and it’s that skill set that I brought to TAFE Queensland, working within the Transport and Logistics teaching team,” said Craig.
Craig believes the leadership and mentorship aspects of his role in the Army also helped equipped him for the transition to teaching at TAFE Queensland and in his current role as Transport, Logistics, Warehouse and Work Safety Leading Vocational Teacher.
“My Army logistics team members and I were teaching soldiers on a weekly basis. I would teach a lesson on how to perform a particular task safely in the workplace, such as weapons handling, operating radios or driving vehicles, for example,” he explained.
Over the past 40 years, Craig has witnessed extensive technology and process change within the supply chain management and warehousing sectors of the industry.
“When I first started in warehousing, we were accounting for spare parts on what we call ‘bin tally cards’. It was a little piece of cardboard that had the part number, the part title at the top and date of transaction. Details on when the part was received and issued were kept on a card and against its location,” he explained.
“Now we've moved to sophisticated systems where you can be sitting anywhere in the world and you can perform a transaction remotely, and stock details are updated instantly.”
Craig teaches students undertaking Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations (TLI30321) and Licence to Operate a Forklift Truck Skill Set (SSTLI0007), covering topics from dangerous goods management, organising receival and despatch operations, to safe transport activities.
Across a large geographical area, Craig engages with students from Brisbane, west to the Maranoa region, through to Weipa in the northern tip of Queensland.
“For the Licence to Operate a Forklift Truck course, I invite students onto the campus, but the Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations (TLI30321) is delivered in the workplace.”
“At the moment I'm looking after regional Queensland. I have one student in Brisbane, with students in Toowoomba, Warwick, Kingaroy, Chinchilla, Roma, and up north to Townsville, Cairns, Lockhart River and Weipa.”
Craig schedules visits to students in their workplaces on a regular basis, every 6 to 8 weeks, and connects via Microsoft Teams or Zoom to work through the course units in between face-to-face learning opportunities.
According to the Australian Government’s Jobs and Skills Australia employment projections, the demand for storepersons is expected to grow by over 10,000 job openings by 2026.
The high Australian dollar during the past five years, plus new automation and tracking technology across the supply chain, has supported growth in this booming industry and is also leading to opportunities for higher skilled workers in larger enterprises.