Driving the future on mandatory entry level driver training

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Posted on March 19th 2014 6:50 PM

Trucking HR Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and provincial trucking associations have joined together in a project that will establish the benchmarks for the industry’s goal of seeing mandatory entry level driver training introduced across Canada — a key step in addressing the trucking industry’s intensifying shortage of qualified personnel.

The three-year Driving the Future project is supported with $1.2 million in funding from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, and will be led by Trucking HR Canada.

The work is also a direct response to recent recommendations by the CTA’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Truck Driver Shortage in Canada, and a landmark Conference Board of Canada report on the issue.

The project will begin by clearly defining the skills and abilities that today’s carriers expect entry level drivers to have. A related focus on more experienced drivers will take a vital step toward a national apprenticeship-like program. Driving the Future will then identify the steps an entry level driver needs to follow to be certified, such as the knowledge to be demonstrated in written tests, performance standards for road tests, and minimum requirements for experiences such as time behind the wheel.

“This work will take us beyond the steps needed to earn a licence,” says Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “Working alongside the carriers who will ultimately hold entry level drivers to these higher standards, we will clearly identify the skills and abilities that drivers are expected to demonstrate when they are first hired. This will guide the schools who develop training programs, make graduating drivers more employable, and better meet the trucking industry’s needs.”

“The CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage has taken a leading role in what many carriers say is the trucking industry’s greatest long-term challenge,” says David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “By taking this important step toward mandatory entry level driver training, we are beginning a process that we believe will result in truck driving being recognized as a skilled occupation, which will enhance the attractiveness of the job and the industry while enhancing highway safety.”

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