Working in a warehouse can take many forms, from warehouse operatives and picker packers, to forklift truck drivers and counterbalance drivers, not to mention the scores of admin, logistic, management and driving staff that make up a warehouse workforce.
Each role requires specific attributes that will be detailed with the job description but there are a few key skills that are applicable to all warehouse jobs
What skills are needed to work in a warehouse?
As described in our working environments page one of the most well-known attributes for colleagues working in a warehouse environment is fitness. With so much ground to cover in the line of duty it is important to ensure that you follow a healthy lifestyle to enable you to develop and maintain a moderate level of fitness.
Picking and packing products can involve a substantial amount of manual handling including bending, stretching, stooping, stepping, reaching and lifting. Your range of mobility is important to ensure you can work safely within health and safety regulations without placing undue strain on your body.
Literacy and numeracy
Reading from picking sheets, following instructions and directions are an important part of warehouse work and so you need to have the ability to read, and understand the information provided as well as be able to count accurately and perform simple maths calculations.
Using mechanical handling equipment to move products around a warehouse requires hand, eye and foot coordination to ensure safe use of the equipment.
Most roles in a warehouse are autonomous with individual tasks and workloads being assigned, it is important that you are comfortable with working on your own, motivating yourself to complete your work and meet your targets.
Despite the autonomous nature of the roles within a warehouse, colleagues are encouraged to work as a team. A workforce, performing duties simultaneously, working together to contribute effectively to the process chain benefits everyone.
Additional desirable skills could include:
- Previous warehouse experience
- Forklift License (Reach / Counterbalance)
- Computer literacy
- Qualification in warehousing and storage (City & Guilds Levels 1, 2 or 3)