There’s been a lot in the news regarding temporary foreign worker programs and the government’s tightening of the rules in an attempt to stem the flow of foreign workers entering the country.
I don’t want to get into a debate on whether that is good or bad in general. Rather, I’d like to focus on how in today’s safety-conscious and highly-regulated trucking industry, a professional driver still gets lumped into the same labour pool as a McDonalds drive-through employee. Or a nanny. Really?
For whatever reason, we are all struggling to attract people into our industry and given the average age of our drivers, there are surely hard times ahead. We absolutely need to ensure the role of a truck driver is elevated to “skilled labour” if we want to keep immigration as a tool to sustain and grow our business, as we are simply not generating enough interest here at home.
To be considered skilled labour, we have to be prepared to establish and adopt mandatory entry-level training and all that goes with it. Our associations are all working hard to separate our industry from the general labour pool, and it is my hope that we all get behind this initiative for the long-term health of the Canadian Trucking industry.