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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The case for diversity in Canada’s trucking industry

In a report recently published by Trucking HR Canada, stating:
Canada’s diverse workforce includes a wealth of often-overlooked workers who can help meet the trucking industry’s current and future labour needs; specifically, women, visible minorities, new Canadians, youth, Aboriginal peoples and people with disabilities.

In fact, a full 48 percent of Canada’s workforce is female, but only three percent of truck drivers are women. Only 12 percent of truck drivers are under the age of 30, yet a full 46 percent of Canada’s Aboriginal population is under 25. Almost one quarter of Canada’s population is comprised of new Canadians but only 19 percent of the trucking industry are new Canadians.

Additionally, the pool of employable people with disabilities is increasing, partly because the Canadian population is aging: The percentage of Canadians with disabilities increases from 4.4 percent for people 15 to 24 to 42.5 percent for people over 75. This is particularly significant for the trucking industry, where the population already skews older. An aging workforce brings its share of challenges such as an increase in reported disabilities, mobility restrictions, diabetes, and more.

Research shows that employers who reach out to a more diverse range of employees benefit from improvements to their bottom line, lower turnover and absenteeism and enhanced productivity.

The case for expanded diversity is clear and the guideposts are in place. Workers with disabilities generally have better retention and productivity rates and often drive innovation in the workplace by providing a different perspective. Research has also shown that a majority of visible minorities are willing to put in extra effort to help the organization succeed, they’re proud to boast about an organization, and they bring new perspectives and ideas by reaching out to new markets and customers.

Many agencies and government bodies have funds and programs that you can tap into to expand workplace diversity. The Canada Job Grant, the Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities, the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit and many other programs can reimburse companies thousands of dollars for bringing in new workers or retraining existing employees.

Some of Canada’s most highly respected trucking companies are already reaping the rewards diversity brings. They have implemented a series of best practices which provide them with the tools to recruit and retain a diverse pool of under-utilized talent. They have reported lower turnover among their driver population, an increase in their sources of labour, better productivity and an overall improvement of their workplace culture.