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Trucker Shortage

Trucker Shortage

driving jobsWould you believe that there is a trucker shortage in Canada? Yes, in spite of the fact that our highways are busy with trucks of every size and description, the industry is actually hurting from a dearth of drivers. How is that possible with unemployment rates fairly high? There are a number of factors that lead to this discrepancy.

The number of people in Canada who identify truck driving as their occupation is significant, in the range of 300,000 men and women. Men make up the bulk of this force, but more and more women are seeing it as an optional and even desirable job. But paired with the increasing demand for trucking transport across the country and cross-border, there is a definite a need for many more trained professional drivers.

One factor in the equation is the aging workforce. A disproportionate percentage of truckers are facing retirement in the next decade. Another large chunk will retire within 15 years. The average age for truckers is the mid-forties with about 18% at 55 or older. This sector actually outnumbers drivers under age 30!

Young, aspiring truck drivers have to wait longer to acquire a commercial driver’s license; this varies from age 18 to 21 depending on where they live. Even then, many trucking companies want to see several years of safe, responsible driving under their belt before even considering them for a demanding career as a trucker.

Although the average wage for truckers is roughly on a par with the national working wage, there are often low benefits associated with the trade, coupled with long hours or days away from home. The allure of the road can become rather stale after a while under these conditions.

The industry will need to adopt new methods to interest the younger generation in filling the gap in the trucker shortage. There are definite perks in spite of the drawbacks, and long term truckers will tell you that there is no other place they would rather be then “on the road again.”

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