The Canadian Trucking Alliance and other trade associations met with Minister Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, to address the growing labour shortage in the trucking industry – the mode of transportation that moves the North American economy.
“CTA highlighted the need to develop plans to attract domestic and foreign workers to our industry, as well as addressing the need for federal investment in training programs in the trucking sector,” said CTA director of Policy, Jonathan Blackham. “Our members move the nation’s economy. As our labour crisis really starts to boil over, those in the Canadian supply chain will soon feel the fallout if it’s not addressed.”
According to recent labour market information, the trucking industry had the highest job vacancy rate among all Canadian industries, averaging 6.6 per cent in 2018, or more than double the Canadian average. Vacancies for truck drivers have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.
“This is not a projected shortage, this is an actual shortage of 22,000 workers,” said Blackham.
Close to seven percent of truck drivers are 65 or older, meaning people are retiring from the trucking sector faster than any other industry, while at the same time there is a declining share of new entrants, with only 9.5 percent of truck drivers in Canada younger than 30 years old, compared to 24 percent of the entire Canadian labour force.
CTA and its membership continue working with the Government of Canada and the provinces to address these growing problems. Specifically, CTA raised the need for additional support for skills training.
“Our sector historically has limited access to federal funds and immigration programs. One of the challenges is that the truck driving occupation is not recognized as a skilled trade and therefore is excluded from many support initiatives available to other industries our sector competes with for labour,” said Blackham. “It’s time we looked at skills funding for employment training and immigration through a very different policy lens.”
CTA will like to thank Employers Commissioner, Judith Andrew, for organizing the meeting with Minister Qualtrough.