OTA touts benefits of a career in trucking

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TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is targeting students on the verge of making career decisions to help solve the labor crunch of tomorrow.

The aggressive new strategy — dubbed Career Highways by the OTA — and its video backbone, were made possible through a partnership with HRDC. It throws a spotlight on industry job opportunities and uses a music video to help dispel some of the myths about trucking and professional drivers.

The OTA will send each school a sample copy — called the tour video — plus the facilitators’ guide. Schools can order the remaining videos free of charge by returning the offer card to the association before June 15.

“Trucking is an essential service,” says David Bradley, OTA president. “Canada’s trucking industry already has an immediate need for 50,000 men and women to drive its trucks and others to operate its IT, sales, dispatch and maintenance departments.”

He adds that, like many other industries, trucking is facing an impending labor shortage. What makes his industry’s plight much worse are the demographics of today’s driver pool, Bradley explains. Currently trucking relies heavily on those 55 and older and is almost devoid of employees under 25. To make matters worse, the pool of 33- to 55-year-olds is expected to shirk by 25 per cent over the next five years.

The videos explore key functional areas in a trucking environment: fleet maintenance; administration company driver; dispatch and operations; information technology; owner/operator driver; safety and loss prevention; as well as dock and warehouse operations.

The videos are designed to let people know the trucking industry offers loads of opportunity for individuals with a variety of education, experience and backgrounds. Opportunities exist for university and college graduates, as well as for high school graduates who prefer on-the-job training.

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