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Driver shortage escalating CTHRC research concludes

OTTAWA, Ont. -- New studies conducted on behalf of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) have ident...

OTTAWA, Ont. — New studies conducted on behalf of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) have identified an escalating shortage of qualified commercial truck drivers across Canada.

Canadian fleets lose 22.1% of their drivers per year, according to Canadas Driving Force Phase 2, the follow-up to research conducted in 2002. That compares to an average driver turnover rate of 36% recorded at the time of the initial study. Even after the employers recruit new personnel, however, about 12% of the industrys job openings remain vacant representing an immediate need for 12,000 additional Class 1/A drivers, CTHRC officials say.

Almost half of the fleets admitted during surveys in 2006 that a lack of personnel forced them to idle equipment in the previous six months; 60% cited the driver shortage as one of the top two concerns facing their organizations.

There is no magic bullet to solve every HR challenge, but this is the industry intelligence that fleets can use in their recruiting, training and retention strategies, says Linda Gauthier, CTHRC executive director.

A high dollar and resulting slowdown in the manufacturing sector may have led some Eastern Canadian fleets to impose a temporary freeze on new hires, but the long-term need for qualified drivers is still a reality.

Independent researchers (RA Malatest and Associates) surveyed 1,432 employers and agencies, 270 newly hired drivers, 591 Class 1/A test participants and 954 licensees who were renewing their Class 1/A licenses. They also analyzed occupation and industry-related data from Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

For a full analysis of the report, see the October issue of Truck News.

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