Government of Canada invests in skills training to address shortages in trucking industry

News release

February 21, 2023          Milton, Ontario          Employment and Social Development Canada

The Canadian economy has made strides toward recovering from the pandemic, having achieved record low unemployment rates and record high labour force participation rates. However, significant skills and labour shortages continue to affect many sectors, and investments in training are needed to rebuild a strong and resilient workforce that can meet the demands of today’s economy. Each sector of our economy is unique and often requires tailored approaches to workforce solutions and skills development to remain adaptable and responsive to the changing labour market.

Today, the Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, on behalf of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the Government of Canada is investing up to $46.3 million to Trucking Human Resources Canada under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program. The organization’s Driving Economic Recovery project will provide training subsidies and wage subsidies to support the recruitment, training and onboarding of up to 1,400 new truck drivers and 1,200 workers for other in-demand occupations within the trucking sector.

This project will address inconsistencies in driver training by developing a national standard that will support transferable skills and bridge the gap between entry-level training and employability throughout Canada. Up to 2,600 participants—with an emphasis on women and other equity-deserving groups—will receive training, on-the-job work experience and other wraparound supports, such as travel and living expenses, to prepare them for a career in the trucking sector.

First announced in Budget 2021, the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program helps key sectors of the economy implement solutions to address their current and emerging workforce needs. It does so by funding organizations to deliver sectoral projects that focus on a range of industry-driven activities. These include training and reskilling workers, helping employers retain and attract a skilled and diverse workforce and other creative solutions to help sectors address labour market needs. It will also support equity-deserving groups by promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce and providing wraparound supports as needed to those facing barriers to participation.


“Without truckers, groceries wouldn’t make it to the shelves of our local supermarkets and builders wouldn’t get the supplies they need. We’re investing in Trucking HR to make sure the industry can support truckers and the workers who help them by equipping them with the training and skills they need to meet the demand we know is there.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“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. 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."
– Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra

“The trucking and logistics sector supports every key economic sector and is critical to Canada’s economic success. Expanding and building on the success of our Career ExpressWay program was a specific recommendation in the National Supply Chain Task Force Report. We are proud to see this important investment that will directly support industry employers in addressing labour shortages with the hardest-to-fill roles, while also connecting and preparing Canadians for well-paying jobs in our sector.”
– Angela Splinter, Chief Executive Officer, Trucking HR Canada

Quick facts

  • First announced in Budget 2021, the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program helps workers and employers by supporting solutions to address current and emerging workforce needs in key sectors, including:

    • building talent for Canada’s clean economy;
    • supporting the needs of workers and employers hardest hit by the pandemic; and
    • addressing challenges faced by in-demand health care occupations.
  • Through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, Trucking HR is receiving an investment of $46,264,396 for its Driving Economic Recovery project. This project will provide immediate help to the sector by scaling up Trucking HR Canada’s established Career ExpressWay driver training program. It will also support the participation of women and other equity-deserving groups in the trucking sector, most notably by building on the organization’s successful Women With Drive initiative. 

  • As of fall 2022, Canadian employers were seeking to fill over 1 million job vacancies. A significant number of vacancies (243,400) are in the professional, scientific, technical, construction and manufacturing sectors, which were already seeing shortages before the pandemic. Furthermore, 26,900 of those vacancies were truck driver jobs. 

  • In all sectors, it is anticipated that population aging and declining participation will exacerbate labour shortages over the long-term. It is estimated that 600,000 workers may retire over the next three years.

  • The Canadian Trucking Alliance forecasts that the trucking industry will have a shortage of 55,000 workers at the end of 2023. 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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