Déjà vu, all over again?
Canadian task force is working to establish criteria that could one day lead to truck driving being designated by the government as a skilled profession that requires entry-level training.
CTHRC, with financial help from the Federal Government, the Canadian Trucking Alliance and provincial trucking associations, is hosting stakeholder meetings to determine what knowledge, skills and abilities should be part of an eventual training standard.
“We are hoping to have a final document, a final profile if you will, outlining what those knowledge, skills and abilities of today’s drivers are sometime in early in 2015,” said CTHRC CEO Angela Splinter.
Splinter added the first meeting recently took place in Ontario. Additional meetings are planned for Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the east and a location to be named in western Canada.
A spring 2012 report published by the Canadian Trucking Alliance owned up to the “root causes” of driver recruitment and retention issues in trucking – namely driver compensation, quality of life, qualifications and demographics.
“The industry will always be captive to market forces, but it can also take action to help itself and ensure its continued dominance in the freight market. It just cannot do it without drivers,” the report’s authors stated.
With all due respect, this type of study has been done over and over for at least the past three decades. The Friesen Kaye report in 1990 brought the problems and solutions to the fore but was shelved virtually without being read let alone considered.
Unless and until commercial driving is recognized as a skilled trade, with basic entry level requirements, added advanced skill level training, a career path, and a full apprenticeship program, with commensurate pay and perks as tradesmen work through from raw recruit to master driver, nothing will ever change. Maybe this is a start, again, but the stakeholders will never include a mere 30 year experienced driver.