Canada’s Trucking Industry Faces Its Biggest Challenge

Addressing the Skilled Driver Shortage in the Canadian Trucking Industry

The Canadian trucking industry is grappling with a significant issue known as a shortage of skilled drivers, which stands as a major obstacle. This scarcity of qualified drivers is predicted to persist throughout 2023 and the upcoming years, potentially affecting the industry’s capacity to meet the increasing demand it faces.

Job Bank projects a favourable employment outlook for Transport truck drivers in Alberta from 2022 to 2024. Key contributing factors to this outlook include:

  • Moderate employment growth resulting in new job opportunities.
  • Retirement of current workers leading to additional positions becoming available.
  • Presence of unemployed individuals with relevant experience in the occupation.
  • High employee turnover creating potential for further employment prospects.

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Opportunities for Foreign Individuals in Alberta’s Trucking Industry

Alberta, ranked second in Canada for truck driver jobs, offers attractive opportunities for foreign individuals. In late May, the Job Bank website advertised a total of 802 positions, mainly in Edmonton and Calgary. These cities accounted for 89.1% of all trucking jobs in Alberta. The median hourly wage is $28, ranging from $18.12 to $37.45, with potential bonuses. Immigration policies support the hiring of qualified foreign workers by transportation companies.

An aging workforce, labour shortages, and difficulties in attracting young workers fuel the positive outlook for this occupation. Alberta has allocated $30 million, including $10 million annually for the next three years, to commercial driving grants, specifically for the Driving Back to Work Program. In Alberta, around 40,100 people are employed in this occupation. Among transport truck drivers, 55% work full-time while 45% work part-time, with an average employment duration of 35 weeks for part-time workers compared to 32 weeks for all occupations.

Among transport truck drivers, the percentage of self-employed individuals is 18%, which is higher than the average of 12% across all occupations. Education levels vary in this occupation: 31% have no high school diploma (compared to 12% overall), 39% possess a high school diploma or equivalent (compared to 28% overall), 12% hold an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma (compared to 10% overall), 12% have a college certificate or diploma or university certificate below bachelor’s (compared to 24% overall), less than 5% hold a bachelor’s degree (compared to 18% overall), and less than 5% have a university certificate, degree, or diploma above bachelor level (compared to 8% overall).

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