IMMIGRATION COULD EASE CANADIAN TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE: WHAT ABOUT TRAINING?

In a recent CBC Article, it was suggested that the chronic semi-truck driver shortage in Ontario could be solved through immigration. This may make sense to ease the labour challenge, but are there any plans to ensure these “new Canadian” drivers are trained to be Canadian road ready.

There has been an outcry from the public to have mandatory training in place for all Class 1 Canadian licenses based on the Humbolt tragedy last year. Unfortunately, the driver responsible had only minimal training before he was allowed to get behind the wheel.

Jim Campbell, president of First Class Training Centre is also concerned about the lack of a national strategy to train driver’s properly. He states; “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of detailed training for Class 1 license applications. We have a responsibility to the public to get this right.”

 The Manitoba Trucking Association recognizes the labour shortage as well. Terry Shaw, the Executive Director adds; “The Province of Manitoba’s most recent Labour Market Information report forecasts that over the next 7 years provincially we need to hire, train and retain over 3,000 truck drivers.  Of 500 specifically listed occupations in Manitoba, truck driver is the 5th most in demand putting it in the top 1% of forecasted net job openings.  This is a common situation across North America.  Because of this, industry and government both are looking at a range of tools to meet this need; immigration being one of those tools.”

Before another tragedy occurs, let’s get a national strategy in place for the training of professional Class 1 drivers. We urge you to contact your local member of parliament to voice your concerns.

First Class Training Centre is the most respected provider of Class 1 education in Manitoba.  First Class has offices in Winnipeg and Brandon and offers the highest standard of Class 1 and Class 3 education in the province.