OTTAWA, Ont. — Young people may not be as down on the trucking industry as many thought, according to new research conducted for Trucking HR Canada.
While today’s youth are concerned about the prospect of long periods away from home, long work hours, poor working conditions and perceived safety risks in the trucking industry, the travel, independence, challenging work and steady employment opportunities do appeal to them. This according to the report ‘Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Drivers: Attracting Canada’s Youth to Opportunities in Trucking.’
The report was based on extensive focus groups, site visits, online surveys and interviews with high school students and educators.
Educators who took part noted students are concerned about extended time away from home and safety risks, but said they are aware of the ongoing need for labour. The educators also expressed concern about low pay rates within the industry.
Other barriers as well were identified by the study. It found today’s youth are less passionate about cars and driving than previous generations, are less likely to have a driver’s licence and likely to be inexperienced drivers into their early 20s.
Still, Trucking HR Canada found the study also offered reason for optimism, as many youth do recognize the availability of jobs within the industry.
“The researchers behind Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Drivers found that Canada’s youth have a relatively positive view of the trucking industry, and are attracted by many of the benefits offered by industry careers,” says Tamara Miller, Trucking HR Canada’s director, programs and services. “This data can be used to refine messages which target youth. A related analysis of school-to-work programs can also be used to guide initiatives that will build bridges between the school system and careers in trucking.”
The report laid out several key recommendations, including: developing marketing materials and branding elements specifically targeting youth; identifying or creating entry-level career paths into driving occupations, so that youths aged 19-25 can find a role within the industry that may lead to driving careers; developing new industry-education partnerships; and using up-to-date National Occupational Standards, to review the opportunity for high schools and colleges to develop national driving-related curriculum.
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