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CTHRC and friends call for national training standards

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) has recently wrapped up a series of roundtabl...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) has recently wrapped up a series of roundtable meetings with industry stakeholders across Canada, concluding that the trucking industry requires enhanced training programs, improved licensing standards and new policies for distributing training funds.

The roundtable discussions were part of the CTHRCs Closing the Gap initiative, which aims to properly prepare Canadas next generation of truck drivers.

Skills shortages are a serious issue and one that cannot be addressed without a true collaboration between industry, government and labour, says Corrine Prince-St-Amand, director general, Foreign Workers and Immigrants, Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

Roy Craigen, CTHRC chairman adds This is where we can make lasting, positive change to an industry that has not seen it for over two decades. We are now so much further ahead in understanding what the issues are.

Participants in the roundtable discussions agreed government training funds should be directed only to programs that meet National Occupational Standards, rather than paying students to simply take a road test. The CTHRC says industry stakeholders also feel training funds should be offered to under-employed workers looking to upgrade their skills to pursue a trucking career, rather than only to those receiving employment insurance.

Stakeholders discussed a plan that would see a portion of payroll taxes directed towards training efforts. A similar funding model already exists in Quebec, the CTHRC points out.

The CTHRC says the Canadian trucking industry must hire as many as 3,000 new drivers per month due to an aging workforce and other issues. The Council warns, however, that these positions must be filled by properly-trained professionals.

We need to focus on the money where it will give us the best result linked to a National Occupational Standard, points out Andy Roberts, president of Mountain Transport Institute out of B.C.

The CTHRC has already begun developing national standards for professional drivers. It now plans to identify the testing and licensing standards in each province in hopes of developing a standardized model that will be used right across Canada. Part of a new standard may include pre-screening candidates, to ensure they have a high chance of success upon completion of a training program.

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