Canadian Trucking Initiative Targets Refugees

Women Also Included in Plan to Alleviate Driver Shortage

Canada is trying to get more truck drivers on the road by matching refugees in a new career pathway program a month after announcing it would invest up to $46.3 million in a hiring program to add up to 1,400 new drivers, including women.

Sean Fraser, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced March 27 that Canada will launch a new economic pathway this summer (under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot) to help employers hire skilled refugees and other displaced individuals in high-demand jobs such as truck and delivery service drivers.

Our government will continue to develop and scale innovative immigration measures to help employers address their critical labor shortages and provide refugees with the opportunity to live in safety while rebuilding their lives,” Fraser said. “Canada is a global leader in helping skilled refugees connect with employers struggling to find workers in critical areas, while giving newcomers the opportunity to restart their careers and their lives here in Canada.”

Canada is facing a projected shortage of 55,000 workers by the end of this year, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance.


Sean Fraser , Canada's minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


As of last fall, Canadian employers had more than 1 million job vacancies, of which 26,900 were for truck drivers and 243,400 were in professional, scientific, technical, construction and manufacturing sectors.

Other fields needing workers include nurse aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, teachers, and tourism and hospitality workers.

The Canadian government will work with seven nongovernment organizations to identify skilled refugees who can immigrate after receiving a job offer. After the government approves applications, candidates can apply for permanent residence using a faster process through the new program. Most applications are expected to be processed within six months to enable refugees to relocate to Canada and start work faster.


Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra


Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra announced in February that Canada is investing up to $46.3 million to Trucking Human Resources Canada (under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program) in its economic recovery project to provide training and wage subsidies to help recruit, train and hire up to 1,400 new truck drivers and 1,200 workers for other in-demand trucking industry jobs.

“Truck drivers are essential to our economy and our supply chains. The Trucking HR Canada’s Driving Economic Recovery project is an innovative solution that supports skills development and job employment readiness for truckers to fill good, middle-class jobs across the country,” Alghabra noted. “Our government’s investment in this initiative demonstrates our continued commitment to strengthening our transportation supply chain, will allow us to continue to deliver affordable and timely goods to Canadians and will help build an economy that works for everyone.”

This effort will develop a national standard in driver training with transferable skills and “bridge the gap between entry-level training and employability throughout Canada,” according to the government.

Another key aspect of this endeavor will be to hire women and other less represented groups in the industry and provide them with training, on-the-job work experience and other support (such as travel and living expenses) to help them enter trucking jobs.

The trucking and logistics sector supports every key economic sector and is critical to Canada’s economic success.

Trucking Human Resources Canada CEO Angela Splinter


Trucking Human Resources Canada CEO Angela Splinter

“The trucking and logistics sector supports every key economic sector and is critical to Canada’s economic success,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “We are proud to see this important investment that will directly support industry employers in addressing labor shortages with the hardest-to-fill roles while also connecting and preparing Canadians for well-paying jobs in our sector.”

The Canadian government projects that 600,000 workers in all sectors may retire within the next three years as the population ages, which will exacerbate current labor shortages.