Recruitment for truck drivers in Atlantic Canada is changing

VANCOUVER, Feb. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - The Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table released findings from the report titled Labour Force Profile of Professional Drivers Working at Ports in Atlantic Canada today. Conducted with the assistance of the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic, the study collected and analyzed demographic information on professional drivers who service the Ports of Saint John and Halifax.

The study collected input from both drivers and employers to develop a labour force profile and review the strategies used by employers to attract and retain drivers in this sector. The project included a survey of port drivers to establish a demographic profile of the men and women transporting containers to and from the Atlantic ports. It found that 68 per cent of port drivers are over the age of 44, well above the average of 47 per cent of drivers in the rest of the country. Retention in the industry is good and these drivers are very experienced, but the average age in the sector may impact the industry as older drivers retire over the next decade. There is an emerging awareness among employers that recruitment models may need to evolve to bring in new drivers to replace those who are retiring.

"This project has been educational for the Council and provided the opportunity to better understand challenges our professional drivers may face in port related activities. Most importantly it showcased the value professional drivers have in port related business and the need to continue to enhance the skills of our workforce," says Kelly Henderson, Executive Director of the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic.

In-depth interviews found that employers are seeing a generational shift in values and they recognize that the lifestyle attributes of port driving can be a good selling point within the driving profession.

"Port drivers are attracted by the lifestyle that that segment of the industry offers," said Krista Bax, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table. "Across the country, we've seen that ports and drivers are finding new approaches to maximize the effectiveness of human resources."

With a high percentage of drivers 55 and older, a cooperative effort is needed to ensure the sector is able to attract new drivers and retain existing ones in an industry that is vitally important to the regional economy.

The project was funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Initiatives Program, which aims to address current and future skills shortages.

To download the Labour Force Profile of Professional Drivers Working at Ports in Atlantic Canada, please visit: http://apgst.ca/projects/pdfs/APG_Atlantic_WEB.pdf  

About Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table
The Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table is a non-profit, regional partnership between labour, business and education/training institutions. Its mission is to ensure the Asia Pacific Gateway has enough people with the right skills and training to meet its needs.

For more information, visit apgst.ca

About Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic
The Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic is a not for profit organization who works with the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada to address human resource issues through the development of innovative initiatives and programs. Its mission is to work with key stakeholders to address human resource needs of the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada.

SOURCE Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table

For further information: Jonathan Kassian, Project Manager, Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, T 604-684-1471 x106, jonathan@apgst.ca

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