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New Recruitment Program Could Help Alleviate Driver Shortage

TORONTO, Ont. - A new initiative called Career Paths for the Canadian Trucking Industry was announced at the first annual Canadian Recruitment and Retention Conference, held at the Double Tree Interna...


TORONTO, Ont. – A new initiative called Career Paths for the Canadian Trucking Industry was announced at the first annual Canadian Recruitment and Retention Conference, held at the Double Tree International Plaza Hotel Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.

Roy Craigen, coach and general manager for Transcom of Alberta, spoke to a group of over 160 transportation professionals about a joint venture between the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC), and the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) to provide a self funded combined education and career opportunity.

There is a need for an industry-wide effort to focus on attracting new drivers, said Craigen, and continuous education can play a integral role in this effort, and compliment driver recruitment and retention.

“With thousands of professional drivers poised to retire over the next few years, we are facing the daunting task of replacing most of these drivers by 2010,” Craigen said.

The new generation of students, who have higher expectations and are aware of their endless opportunities, are unlikely to stay with one company or one occupation for the bulk of their working career, he said.

But it is possible to use this trend to the industry’s advantage, said Craigen.

Career Paths is a program that harmonizes technology with education, he explained.

Craigen, who is the chairman for the CTHRC (the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council) said there are over 70 different careers involved in the trucking industry and it is vital that Canadians are aware of the opportunities.

Career Paths enables students to continue to work while advancing their education from home, work or on the road.

Carriers can create a work schedule that allows students to maintain on-line training programs, and colleges and universities can repackage education programs to accommodate lifestyle needs and allow for a diploma or degree program to be completed by distance learning and over a longer period of time.

“Drivers can make use of their mandatory 36-hour rest period and lengthy delays while they are in the truck,” said Craigen. “We have to turn a truck into a mobile learning centre.”

The program can accommodate a variety of languages as well as students interested in completing an MBA, said Craigen.

“So many drivers feel like they are hooked into their house payments and debts and that they are headed towards a dead end,” said Craigen, “and this is a way to give them a hand and eliminate barriers within our own industry.”

Craigen said research has shown students, teachers, instructors and industry members alike are all showing an interest in the program.

“We can take a driving career from a means to an end and turn it into a springboard for a future of possibilities,” said Craigen.

For more information on the Career Paths program, visit www.cthrc.com or contact Roy Craigen at 780-449-7200.


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