The student solution to trucking industry’s labor shortage

Picture of Angela Splinter

Every sector in Canada’s economy is looking to attract and grow its labor force, which means students and young workers have lots of career choices at a pivotal time in their lives.

Amid this intense competition for talent, our industry is well positioned to take advantage of public awareness around the importance of trucking and logistics to the economy, and to leverage our labor force data which provides insight into the wide range of opportunities for young workers in our industry.

Trucking HR Canada’s labor market information shows that drivers account for 43% of the sector’s 733,000 workers, meaning we have another 57% representing all other occupations. Dispatchers, logistics coordinators, office administrators, warehouse workers, human resources, diesel technicians, accountants — the list goes on, and all are needed to keep goods moving.

Additionally, 46% of employers in trucking and logistics expect recruiting for non-driving occupations to be a challenge in the future.

A male printing press and warehouse worker finds some spare time to study while on break and further his education as a university and college student. He is studying from a textbook, writing notes.
(Photo: iStock)

Engaging the next generation

Employers looking to engage with the next generation of workers now have financial incentives that can help.

With more than 100 employers already enrolled, our Career ExpressWay program has become a popular way to attract young workers to our industry. It connects students with employers who can offer experience and a meaningful wage.

While there is a bit of administrative work to get set up, employers tell us that once they’re in and ready to go, the program runs smoothly. Many employers who start with one or two students quickly look to bring on even more.

Help, not hype

For starters, Career ExpressWay currently pays up to 75% of the student’s wage up to $7,500. Any full-time or part-time job that supports truck transportation is eligible, including special projects, co-ops and internships.

Post-secondary programs are seeing the benefits of what they call “work-integrated learning,” where students gain experience in their field of study and can develop the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

Career Expressway is a win-win-win, really. Employers get access to a pipeline of new talent; students learn about trucking and logistics while getting paid; and the industry as a whole benefits from a growing pool of interested workers.

Let’s take a look at what some of our employers say about the program:

Students bring fresh ideas, perspectives, and new approaches to business challenges.

Being able to test drive” a student or new grad before hiring lowers our recruitment and onboarding costs.

We have been bringing on students through co-ops and internships and are happy to be able to benefit from the financial incentive offered (with some able to access the funds even if these placements were finished).

We have brought on students to help implement special projects/new initiatives with the labor costs almost fully covered.

Partnering with specific post-secondary programs like logistics and supply chain management is a strategic focus of our recruitment efforts. Trucking HR Canadas Career ExpressWay is now a part of this plan.

Sometimes it’s easier to train someone who is more junior than someone who has 25 years of experience at another company because there’s nothing to “undo.

Hiring young workers enables us to shape them (new recruits) to our corporate culture; they don’t have bad habits yet.

Trucking and logistics employers talk a lot about how to showcase the many non-driving careers in our industry and make them more attractive through competitive compensation.

Career ExpressWay may be a solution that fits with your operations, too.

We are partnering with schools and other programs to help connect students with employers in our sector. If recruiting young talent is a priority for your business, and you’re interested in a way to help pay for it, reach out to us today. Contact theteam@truckinghr.com to learn more.

Picture of Angela Splinter

Angela Splinter leads Trucking HR Canada, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the human resources challenges and opportunities in the trucking and logistics sector. Angela is a frequent speaker at industry events sharing innovative HR best practices, trends and insights. As a respected leader in HR, Trucking HR Canada works with various associations, government departments and industry professionals to ensure employers have the skilled workforce needed for today and in the future. Feel free to learn more at truckinghr.com, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us @TruckingHR for the latest tips, practical resources and more. You can follow Angela directly at @AngSplinter. And we can be reached by e-mail: info@truckinghr.com.


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