The truck driver shortage is a global issue. Let’s take a round-the-world trip to discover different driver recruitment campaigns and find inspiration…
A Canadian fleet operator called Arnold Bros Transport collaborated with the Ministry of Labour in Jamaica and an intermediary company to bring drivers to work in Canada. Its recruitment campaign in 2014 included Arnold Bros sending its recruitment department to Jamaica on several visits to meet with applicants and to present on life in Canada and the transport industry. [source: Arnold Bros]
At the end of 2017, the New Zealand government realised it faced a shortfall of 1,000 truck drivers, which it cannot meet through local candidates. So New Zealand recruitment firm Canstaff offered a relocation package to qualified heavy goods vehicle (“HGV”) drivers from Ireland with at least two years’ experience. Among the many attractions of New Zealand to Irish drivers (who typically earn approximately €12 per hour) are increased earnings of €15 to €20 per hour, guaranteed shifts and the benefits of a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle. In some cases, road freight companies will pay the costs of flights to New Zealand. [source: Irish Times]
In Brazil, where they are 100,000 drivers short, there are echoes of the Canadian and New Zealand initiatives. Brazilian trucking companies are hiring Colombian truckers in areas such as Parana, a major agricultural and trading state on the border with Argentina and Paraguay. What differentiates this scheme is that Parana is taking responsibility for giving Colombian truck drivers additional training through a state-subsidised programme. [source: Latin American Herald Tribune]
In Ayrshire, south-west Scotland, Scottish road freight transport companies and charities came together in 2017 to create an initiative to train the homeless and disadvantaged to drive trucks in a bid to reduce a shortage of 11,000 skilled HGV drivers in Scotland and fulfill the increased demand for deliveries generated by online shopping. The second phase of this campaign will launch in Edinburgh and offer training to former army veterans, adjusting to life as civilians after careers in the military.
The £3,000 cost of HGV licenses will be paid for by the transport companies, charities and, Scottish Government funds. Mr. Najed Al Sultan, a refugee from Homs in Syria is the first person to benefit from the scheme. He arrived in Scotland with his family in March 2017 and had prior truck driving experience in Syria and Lebanon. [source: Sunday Post]
In a bid to solve its truck driver shortage in 2017, the Japanese government created a new license category for driving “quasi-medium-size trucks” for vehicles weighing 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes including passengers and cargo. Previously you could not drive a truck in Japan until you were 20. Now people aged 18 with no experience can get a license to drive the new category “quasi-medium-size trucks.”
To create a space for the new truck category, the upper limit for regular trucks was lowered from 5 to 3.5 tonnes and the lower limit for medium-size trucks increased from 5 to 7.5 tonnes. [source: Japan Times]
There are always interesting ideas being implemented in the USA:
- The US army has become a good source of drivers. As of 2015, 10,000 US army soldiers and veterans had successfully obtained “commercial drivers licenses” through a US military scheme that grants credit and exemptions from certain parts of the driving test, based on their experience of driving in uniform. [source: US Army]
- Judging by a Transport Topics discussion on recruiting young drivers, you will need to employ a social-media savvy millennial to recruit millennial drivers. 75 percent of truckers say that they check Facebook every day with 62 percent of millennials relying on social media to find jobs. Reach them through their smartphones which they access on average 45 times a day and prioritise communicating with them through video and other forms of visual content that are suitable for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- One of the solutions to driver shortage is to attract more female drivers. Ideas to make working conditions more women-friendly include women drivers working in two-person driving teams including some mother-daughter pairings, which is successful at Covenant Transportation Group Inc. Additionally “Cleaner terminals, schedules that guarantee home time, automatic transmissions and safer truck stops have been crucial to attracting and retaining female drivers,” said Derek Leathers, COO, Werner Enterprises Inc. [source: Transport Topics]
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