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Job Descriptions

How To Become A Warehouse Operative

The Backbone Of The Logistics Industry

How To Become A Warehouse Operative

Warehouses are an essential part of the UK supply chain. They hold goods from all types of industries until they’re ready to be distributed to shops, stores, supermarkets, and for online shopping deliveries.

Working as a Warehouse Operative in the logistics sector will mean that you are part of a massive industry, which employs one in every twelve people in the UK.

Without warehouse operatives, the distribution and circulation of goods would fall apart and become significantly less efficient. They are an instrumental part of the logistics industry.

The role has a variety of job titles, including warehouse operative, warehouse worker, warehouse operator, warehouse picker or picker packer.

All these job names refer to shift work that keeps distribution depots operating around the clock, every day of the week.

Year-round, and throughout the Lincolnshire & Yorkshire we have various warehouse opportunities for efficient and organised individuals who thrive in a fast-paced atmosphere.

Hardworking individuals who can work to efficient process methods and adapt to various roles are the key to making the supply chain run smoothly.

What does a Warehouse Operative do?

A warehouse operative role provides a varied work day that includes:

  • Taking delivery of goods and signing the delivery notes or receipts.
  • Checking goods for missing or damaged items.
  • Loading & unloading delivery vehicles with goods by hand, with pump trucks or forklift trucks (see our latest FLT jobs).
  • Stacking goods in the correct place.
  • Keeping records of goods, normally digitally using computer software.
  • Carrying out stock control on a regular basis.
  • Building loads with forklift and electronic pallet jack.
  • Loading and wrapping stock on pallets.
  • Sometimes selling items to customers.
  • Picking, weighing or packing goods that have to be sent out.
  • Keeping the work areas clean and tidy.

As a warehouse operative you could be working both alone and as part of a team with a focus on efficiency and commitment to complete your set tasks and strive to maintain the warehouse’s performance targets.

This role best suits upbeat and self-motivated individuals who enjoy working systematically and productively.

The fast paced and energised environment relies on organisation and efficiency and with so much ground to cover in the line of duty it is important to ensure that you have a moderate level of fitness to enable you to comfortably carry out your tasks.

What hours do Warehouse Operatives work?

The vast majority of employers require warehouse operatives to work up to 40 hours per week. Shift work is common, and is likely to include weekends, late nights and early mornings.

Working Conditions
  • Work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Possibility of working in cold, draughty or dusty warehouses or stockrooms.
  • Spending a lot of time on your feet.
  • May have to climb ladders and work at heights.
  • Work involves bending, stretching and lifting, sometimes heavy items.
  • Hours may be irregular, including shift work, evenings and weekends.
  • Often required to wear protective clothing such as safety shoes and overalls.

What skills do Warehouse Operatives need to have?

  • Good organisational skills.
  • Reliability and dependability.
  • Have IT Skills.
  • Literacy & numeracy.
  • Ability to meet the physical demands of the job.
  • Having knowledge about safety and health regulations is advantageous.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Upbeat and energised.
  • Flexible and willing take on a variety of tasks.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Be able to work as a Team player.

Picking and packing products can involve a substantial amount of manual handling including bending, stretching, stepping, reaching and lifting.

Having a good range of mobility is important to ensure you can work safely within health and safety regulations without placing undue strain on your body.

Warehouses are usually located on the outskirts of cities, towns and villages and are positioned on large industrial landscapes with good access to main roads for the ease of goods transportation.

Due to their location, warehouses are not always located on or near a bus route so travel to work may need some prior planning if you do not have a car.

How much does a Warehouse Operative earn?

Jobs for warehouse operatives are usually paid an hourly rate ranging from a starting rate of the N.M.W up to £14.65 per hour in some UK locations, with a UK average rate of £8.72 per hour which covers jobs in different sectors such as logistics, manufacturing and retail. Salaries and wages vary depending on the region and company.

Pay can also be performance-related, for instance depending on the number of items packed by a warehouse operative.

Pay can also be performance-related, for instance depending on the number of items packed by a warehouse operative.

What knowledge and experience is required?

Warehouse jobs do not have specific entry requirements for applicants. They just need skills related to English, IT, and Math. Some employers require vision tests to ensure candidates have good colour vision suitable for colour coded items.

There are degree courses available in subjects like transport management, logistics, and supply chain management, for those that would like to progress into a career in warehouse management roles, which attract current average salaries of around £32,500 per year.

People who want to work with a fork lift are required to have a special licence for that type of vehicle. Applicants need to be over 16 years old for these duties.

Who employs warehouse operatives?

There are jobs available as a warehouse operative throughout the UK and it’s an industry that’s growing. In fact there are expected to be over 600,000 warehouse jobs become available throughout 2019 with this expect to rise slightly year on year over the next 3 - 5 years

You could work for a large manufacturer, an online shopping company, a supermarket retailer, port or airport, a distribution company or the armed forces.

It’s likely that any company with warehouse and distribution facilities, retail superstores or manufacturing plants will be on the lookout for warehouse workers, as are we at Diverse Employment.

Are there any career prospects for Warehouse Operatives?

Its often the case that temporary agency work as a warehouse operative can be a great stepping-stone into a a permanent role within the company you're working for. Really showing your managers that you have a can-do attitude and are an asset to the team will assist with your chances of this happening.

Its also likely that they'll be more willing to invest their time in training you in other areas of the business you express interest in also. For example, you could move into the transport and logistics side of the business, with extra training such as fork lift truck driving or coordinating incoming and outgoing deliveries.

If you want to move up the ladder within this type of role, one option is to become a Warehouse Manager. This will mean overseeing a section or the whole operation of the warehouse, ensuring that targets and health and safety regulations are met. You’ll also be responsible for looking after your staff and making sure customers are happy.

With the management responsibilities also comes a higher salary and you'll often be placed on a more regular shift pattern, allowing you to organise your work-life balance easier.

You're likely to progress at first into a supervisor or junior management role, and then be encouraged to work your way up to higher positions.

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