Canada Driving to Meet Truck Driver Shortage Head Onby Jana Ritter - Published: 4/04/2013
The US truck driver shortage has been constant headline news in the last few years, but the problem isn’t just ours alone. Canada is now expecting a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers by 2020, according to a new study released by the Conference Board of Canada. And like the US, the study found that the shortage is mainly due to “tens of thousands” of current drivers approaching retirement age and there are “a very small number of young drivers taking their place.” But the Canadians are taking a different approach to the problem – finding immediate solutions to face it head on.
Their latest course of action is the launch of Trucking HR Canada, a new organization dedicated to addressing the human resource challenges of the country's trucking industry and thus creating more canada truck driving jobs. Stepping into the shoes of the now defunct Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC), Trucking HR Canada will attempt to go the extra mile to succeed in this role.
Trucking HR Canada is currently offering a new series of human resources seminars and services for individual fleets, with other support such as a self-guided online tool known as the HR Circle Check, to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Officials say HR Circle Check is designed to help industry employers identify and address any gaps in HR practices, and research on communicating with the youngest generation of industry employees.
Trucking HR Canada will also be offering a broad library of manuals, training programs and research findings for the industry. Numerous industry stakeholders have been participating in related business planning and consultation sessions for the new organization over the last year. Officials say “the result is a new organization with a revised focus, direction and streamlined governance structure.”
“This transition from one organization to the other has gone smoothly, in large part because of the leadership of CTHRC chairman Gord Peddle,” said Trucking HR Canada CEO Angela Splinter. “His passion for the CTHRC’s mandate, coupled with his business savvy and unwavering confidence in our staff’s ability to find a way to move forward, was a key factor in what we have achieved today.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance is another organization trying to get a head start on solutions. Commissioning a study titled Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap and Implications for the Canadian Economy, they released a report of recommendations last year. The report examined the labor market challenges in the trucking industry and outlined core values that should be implemented by carriers to could help boost the level of professionalism in the industry and alleviate some capacity pressures. They also said truck driving needed to become recognized as a skilled occupation and called for mandatory entry-level driver training and ongoing skills upgrading; paying drivers for all the work they do and making compensation packages more transparent, among other solutions.