WINNIPEG, Man. – The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) says its province will face a dire labor shortage with a shortfall of 10,000 drivers by 2026, and government must step up to fund training and help fill the gaps.
The MTA said the projection comes from the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table’s ‘Labour Market Information Project’, which indicates that more than 177,375 jobs will need to be filled in four transportation sectors across Canada’s four western provinces in the next decade, with Manitoba facing the most difficult hiring conditions of all provinces due of workers migrating to other areas of the country.
“We need more than one new job a day, seven days a week, every week of the year for the next decade and we just aren’t doing what we need as a province to support the demand,” said Terry Shaw, executive director of the MTA. “We need to be recognized as a trade and have funding in place that matches the designation.”
Because commercial driving is designated a certified occupation and not a skilled trade, prospective drivers cannot receive provincial funding for training and must fork over around $8,600 out of pocket for their education.
“The workers our industry attracts don’t typically have $10,000 lying around in RRSPs or other savings,” Shaw said. “There was a shortage in other industries and the levels of government responded accordingly. We now need the same treatment to ensure goods that Canadians depend on can keep moving from coast to coast and beyond.”