Cash infusion to support driver training

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by Emily Atkins

A $46.3 million federal contribution will help Trucking Human Resources Canada support to recruitment and training of 2,600 new drivers and supply chain workers.

The funding comes under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program. The organization’s Driving Economic Recovery project will provide training subsidies and wage subsidies to support the recruitment, training and onboarding of up to 1,400 new truck drivers and 1,200 workers for other in-demand occupations within the trucking sector.

“The trucking and logistics sector supports every key economic sector and is critical to Canada’s economic success. Expanding and building on the success of our Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program program was a specific recommendation in the National Supply Chain Task Force Report,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. 

“We are proud to see this important investment that will directly support industry employers in addressing labour shortages with the hardest-to-fill roles, while also connecting and preparing Canadians for well-paying jobs in our sector.”

This project will address inconsistencies in driver training by developing a national standard that will support transferable skills and bridge the gap between entry-level training and employability throughout Canada. Up to 2,600 participants—with an emphasis on women and other equity-deserving groups—will receive training, on-the-job work experience and other wraparound supports, such as travel and living expenses, to prepare them for a career in the trucking sector.

The announcement follows a joint statement last January between the Government of Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) in recognizing the driver shortage challenge and its impact on the Canadian supply chain. The CTA forecasts that the trucking industry will have a shortage of 55,000 workers at the end of 2023.

“CTA and the provincial associations have worked very hard to raise awareness to the federal government of the need to bring in new employees, including safe and professionally trained drivers who can be deployed in support of our customers and the supply chain,” said CTA Chair Greg Munden.

First announced in Budget 2021, the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program helps key sectors of the economy implement solutions to address their current and emerging workforce needs. It funds organizations to deliver projects that focus on a range of industry-driven activities. These include training and reskilling workers, helping employers retain and attract a skilled and diverse workforce and other creative solutions to help sectors address labour market needs.

As of fall 2022, Canadian employers were seeking to fill over 1 million job vacancies. A significant number of vacancies (243,400) are in the professional, scientific, technical, construction and manufacturing sectors, which were already seeing shortages before the pandemic. Furthermore, 26,900 of those vacancies were truck driver jobs.