What’s in store for 2024

What’s in store for 2024

Angela Splinter, CEO

The last three years have proven the need for a skilled, engaged, and productive trucking and logistics workforce, and 2024 will be no different. From drivers to warehouse workers, office workers, and more, the close to 800,000 people our sector employs are essential to Canada’s supply chains.

However, hiring new workers and retaining current employees is more challenging than ever. Job interviews are a two-way street. The people you want to hire are looking at you for the right culture and opportunities.

How can you be a better, more attractive employer in 2024? As we roll into the New Year, here are seven things to consider as you navigate the road ahead.

1. Invest in recruitment

Onboarding and training are expensive, especially in trucking, and can take resources away from efforts to tap into new, less traditional pools of talent.

THRC’s Career ExpressWay program can fill the funding gaps. It provides training grants and wage incentives for recruiting young Canadians, students, and new workers for in-demand occupations in trucking and logistics.

Over 600 employers have participated in Career ExpressWay. The program has successfully brought 5,000 new workers to our sector, including 1,000 post-secondary students. Without Career Expressway, many of these workers would not have considered our industry. Don’t overlook this potential source of funding.

2. Become best in class

Make this the year you measure your fleet’s human resources policies and practices against established HR standards of excellence.

Our Top Fleet Employers program celebrates trucking and logistics companies for their innovative approaches to recruiting, hiring, training, and managing HR. In 2023, we recognized 93 companies as Top Fleet Employers at our Gala and shared a collection of their best practices in our TFE annual report.

There are many great workplaces out there, and I encourage you to join your colleagues in getting the recognition you deserve. Applications for 2024 are now open. We look forward to meeting new fleets that continue to raise the HR bar and show why this industry is a great place to work.

3. Stay tuned for new rules

At a time when operating costs are a top concern, there is no relief in sight for federally regulated employers.

This year brings new requirements for pay equity compliance, workplace harassment and training requirements, and more. Stay tuned, as THRC will again have all the tools and resources you need to keep on track.

4. Drive progress with women

The industry still has a long way to go when it comes to encouraging and supporting women, especially female truck drivers, for whom safety and security are big concerns.

If you want a place to start, join us at our Women With Drive event on March 7 at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel.

What began 10 years ago as a national committee has become a unique annual event. This year’s theme, “Driving a Decade of Change,” celebrates the progress of trucking and logistics employers in supporting women’s professional goals. All are welcome to join the conversation, regardless of gender.

5. Labour market intelligence

This year, THRC will release our latest LMI (Labour Market Information) research, our most comprehensive labour market analysis in four years.

The LMI is a data-driven, evidence-based report on the industry’s workforce and its needs up to 2030. It uses data from publicly available sources, including Statistics Canada’s census and labour force surveys, and fills in the gaps with qualitative and quantitative research taken directly from employers.

The report facilitates better decisions by employers, workers, job seekers, policymakers, educators, career practitioners, and others. It also provides a foundation for decisions about program funding. At a time when funders are carefully assessing program impacts, our LMI will be even more critical.

6. A new NOS

Thanks to input from over 55 industry stakeholders (including leading associations), THRC will launch an updated National Occupational Standard (NOS) for commercial vehicle operators in 2024.

The NOS defines the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become a competent commercial vehicle operator. It informs a consistent, professional approach to driver training, and includes resources employers can use to improve training nationwide.

This is all thanks to funding from the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program. At a time when the industry is calling on the government to provide more dollars for driver training, the NOS will help shape these investments.

7. See us at Truck World

We’d love to see you in person. Visit our booth in Hall 2 at Truck World, April 18-20, at the International Centre in Toronto. Check out the resources we have to offer and meet our staff, who stand ready to help your trucking and logistics business succeed.

We look forward to working with you, supporting you, and meeting you in 2024.

6 Great Reasons to Become a Top Fleet Employer

6 Great Reasons to Become a Top Fleet Employer

You’re running a successful operation, but is it a Top Fleet? Find out by applying to become a Top Fleet Employer!

The Top Fleet Employer application process helps you examine your organization’s HR practices and policies; only high achievers in Canadian trucking and logistics with sound HR policies and practices become Top Fleet Employers. It’s not a competition, but a recognition program to highlight excellent work in our industry, especially in how we treat our people.

Top Fleet Employers get recognition for their great work, and six more great benefits:

  1. Expert evaluation of your HR practices
    All Top Fleet Employers receive an annual feedback report completed by industry specialists. Your scorecard shows where you’re being successful, and where you can still improve. It is an excellent tool to guide management discussions and long-term planning.
  2. Join a dynamic network of peers and experts
    As a Top Fleet Employer, you’re included in a network of like-minded professionals who discuss common issues, learn about innovative techniques, and share insights and helpful resources. THRC also hosts bi-monthly virtual Community Chats with guest speakers who are leaders in their field of expertise.
  3. Advanced access to resources, programs, and initiatives
    Top Fleet Employers get easy access to the Career ExpressWay program which supports employers with recruitment efforts and helps them take advantage of industry-specific financial incentives for connecting with career seekers.
  4. Employee engagement analysis
    You’ll get an employee scorecard summarizing honest feedback from your staff after an anonymous survey is completed as part of the application process. Find out what’s working in your organization — directly from your employees. (It can also help get you selected for the Employee Engagement Award of Excellence.)
  5. Higher company profile
    Top Fleet Employer recognition can help your company stand out from the crowd — resulting in greater company pride and higher attraction and retention rates. Top Fleets all receive recognition in THRC’s media engagement, website and social media.
  6. Recognition at the annual Top Fleet Employers Gala Awards Dinner
    All Top Fleets are recognized annually at our Top Fleet Employers Awards Gala — a showcase event that includes the best in our industry. Top Fleets are also eligible to win Achievements of Excellence awards and the coveted HR Leader of the Year award.

THRC has been recognizing the top fleets in Canada for 10 years and now recognizes 93 Top Fleet Employers. If you are proud of your company’s HR standards, apply to be a Top Fleet Employer.

LIMITED TIME TO APPLY: Applications are being accepted for the 2024 program. Deadline February 2, 2024.

SUPPORT: You aren’t alone, our helpful staff are here to guide employers through every step of the application process.

FIND OUT MORE: Read more and apply now: truckinghr.com/top-fleet-employers

Top Three Top Fleet Employer Tips for Success

Top Three Top Fleet Employer Tips for Success

The Top Fleet Employers Best Practices Report has great examples of employee experience tools that are working. Top Fleets are leading the way in many areas, including employee engagement and new approaches in skills and training. Here are three tips:

  1. Build a Skill-Based Organization – A skill-based organization is one where current employees are encouraged to develop their abilities instead of hiring new people. It’s an environment where everyone is encouraged and supported to meet their potential with access and support (even financial!) to learning opportunities.
  2. Enhance The Employee Experience – Employees stay with organizations where they feel valued, engaged, and empowered. Top Fleet Employers use innovative approaches to gather employee input and actually use that input to develop programs that enhance the work environment for everyone.
  3. Retooling Work Through “True Hybrid” and AI – If your organization is struggling to implement hybrid work opportunities or to understand how AI can help operations, this is a great chance to learn from Top Fleet Employers that have tested some of the options available.

Looking for more great tips? Check out the report here

Together – we can ensure the industry has the skilled workforce needed for today and the future.

Five facts about THRC’s Career ExpressWay

Five facts about THRC’s Career ExpressWay

By: Angela Splinter

Connecting talented individuals to the many well-paying, stable, and rewarding jobs available in the trucking and logistics sector remains an industry priority. The wage and training incentives offered through THRC’s Career ExpressWay provide our sector with the support needed to make this happen.

We are currently working with a variety of Government programs designed to support employers in meeting their workforce challenges while also ensuring that Canadians have access to the training and learning opportunities needed to support career success. Our sector-specific approach is helping employers address employment needs.

If you are not using the Career ExpressWay Program, here are five things you should know:

1. Driver Inc fleets need not apply

To access wage and training incentives, employers need to take the first step by completing an expression of interest form here. Once you submit the form, a THRC team member will reach out to complete the onboarding process. You’ll be in the program within 2 business days.

Eligible employers are vetted and sign an employer agreement with THRC agreeing to the program requirements. Once the agreement is in place, you are ready to start accessing the program funds.

Note that we only reimburse employers for eligible participants with proof of source deductions and copies of verifiable pay stubs are required. All our paperwork is monitored and forms part of our funder reporting process. If you engage in Driver Inc, this program is not for you.

2. Tracking retention

We are working to bring new people into the trucking workforce, and to get them to stay. To date, 92% of all hires through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program funding are still employed.

We conduct random surveys with employers to track the status of program-funded participants. We understand that not all employees stay, but we monitor your usage of the program to ensure there are no concerning trends in employee turnover.

3. Approving driver training schools

In addition to vetting employers into the program, we also look to ensure that the training schools participating in the program offer training that aligns with the National Occupation Standard for Commercial Vehicle Operators. Each school must complete a questionnaire to assess training alignment before they are approved for program participation.

4. Driving diversity

Here, the numbers speak for themselves.

Of all THRC’s Career ExpressWay program participants, 30% are women and 63% are youth 30 and under.

For a sector that has plenty of room to grow in terms of diversity in workforce demographics, these numbers are impressive.

5. Your summer student hires still qualify for funding

Our Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) offers financial incentives to employers who create work placements for college and university students looking to fill the work-integrated learning component of their academic program. The program not only increases the job readiness of students, but also helps employers by reducing overhead costs and building a talent pipeline for the future. A SWPP-funded work placement can highlight the variety of opportunities available within your company to a soon-to-be graduate who will be looking for employment when they finish studying.

Employers can get 70% of a student’s wages covered, up to a maximum of $7,000. There are still some spots left for summer, and interested employers are encouraged to reach out to us today. We are also accepting applications for work placements that will take place in the Fall.

THRC makes this program easy to participate in by partnering with employers and post-secondary institutions to create connections and deliver work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students.

All programs are currently open and available – please reach out to [email protected]. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

Survey Says: It’s time to refresh our LMI

Survey Says: It’s time to refresh our LMI

Trucking HR Canada launches a new survey to help employers benchmark their employment performance

By: Craig Faucette

If you’ve participated in a Trucking HR Canada webinar or event, you’ve probably heard us talk about our commitment to providing evidence-based HR solutions for the industry. We take this commitment seriously, backing our work with the latest data to ensure the materials and tools we release are timely and aligned with the industry’s challenges and opportunities at any moment.

How do we maintain this data-driven, evidence-based approach?

It’s all thanks to our Labour Market Information research.

Our LMI facilitates better decisions by employers, workers, job seekers, policymakers, educators, career practitioners, academics, students, parents, and more. It takes data from publicly available sources, including Statistics Canada’s census and labour force surveys, and fills in the gaps with qualitative and quantitative research taken directly from employers.

Time for an update

With the release of 2021 Census data and a new version of the government’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system, it’s time for us to update our LMI dataset.

But we’re not just plugging new numbers into an old spreadsheet. Instead, with funding from the Government of Canada through the Sectoral Workforce Solution Program, we are refining our LMI system and expanding the definition of the trucking and logistics industry that powers our research.

Here’s what that means:

  • Our new custom dataset will include 37 unique occupations in trucking and logistics, up from the 30 included in our 2019 forecast. This expanded definition is important because it allows us to paint a more fulsome and nuanced picture of the industry than would be possible if we used the more limited definition implied by the NOC taxonomy.
  • Along with data on employment, unemployment, and vacancies, our new LMI system will include demographic data, allowing additional insight into the composition of the trucking labour force.
  • The new dataset will allow us to extend our labour market forecast by five years, from 2023 to 2028. We can capture a longer view of macroeconomic shifts, including inflation, interest rates, supply chain constraints, and tightness in the labour market.

Get the whole story

The key ingredients of our forecasts are Census data, job vacancy and wage survey data, and labour force survey data. They provide insight into employment and unemployment levels, as well as inflows and outflows of workers, including new entrants to the labour force, those entering via immigration or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and those exiting for retirement or other reasons.

While data from public sources is crucial, it tells only part of the story.

That’s why our new LMI project includes a comprehensive Employer Survey. Last undertaken by THRC in 2019, this survey captures information about employment relationships, compensation structures, and hiring and recruitment challenges. It’s essential to our ability to capture industry-specific labour market trends accurately.

Our LMI surveys also inform the development of our HR tools and resources and have helped us secure funding for our Career ExpressWay program, which provides financial incentives to employers onboarding or training eligible job candidates, including students, youth, and current employees training to obtain a commercial vehicle license.

We need your help

Given the changes in the industry and economy since 2019, and the development of our new custom dataset, it’s high time we conduct the survey again so employers can benchmark their practices in today’s competitive labour market.

Our ability to accurately capture industry-specific labour market trends will depend on the number of survey responses we receive, and that’s where you come in.

If you are an employer in the trucking and logistics industry, please take a moment to complete our Employer Survey. You can find it here.

If you have questions about our survey or our LMI work, contact us at [email protected]. You can learn more about LMI at our LMI website, which has our latest LMI Snapshot, published this month with new data and insights, as well as more information about how our LMI benefits employers in trucking and logistics.

We look forward to hearing from you.

New Year, New Rules for Employers

New Year, New Rules for Employers

Angela Splinter, CEO

A new year means new rules for employers in trucking and logistics. Trucking HR Canada has compiled a list of regulatory and policy changes that may affect your workplace in 2023, with links to various resources and tools to help. Here’s what you should know.

Bill C-3: Paid Medical Leave

Under Bill C-3, employees can now receive up to 10 days of paid medical leave per calendar year and a leave of absence of up to eight weeks in the event of the death of a child or the loss of an unborn child.

The number of days of paid leave depends on the length of employment. Employees are entitled to three days after 30 days of continuous employment and one additional day of paid leave per month to a maximum of 10 days per year. Unused days can carry over to the next calendar year, but the maximum of 10 days of paid medical leave still applies.

There are numerous requirements for employers to know and follow, including establishing a system for tracking medical leaves. Not sure where to start? Click here to connect to a range of THRC resources, including policy templates, best practices, and more.

EI Sickness Benefits Extended

The length of EI sickness benefits has been extended from 15 to 26 weeks under the Canada Labour Code, and the maximum length of unpaid medical leave has been increased from 17 to 27 weeks.

Minimum Wage Increases

Several provinces will increase their minimum hourly wage in 2023:

  • Nova Scotia will raise the minimum wage by 70 cents to $14.30 on April 1 and another 35 cents to $14.65 on Oct. 1.
  • Manitoba will raise the minimum wage by 65 cents to $14.15 on Apr. 1. The province said it would raise it again to $15 on Oct. 1.
  • Saskatchewan will raise the minimum wage to $14 from $13 effective Oct. 1.
  • Prince Edward Island raised its minimum wage by 80 cents to $14.50 on Jan. 1. It will increase another 50 cents to $15 on Oct. 1.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador will increase the minimum wage by 80 cents to $14.50 on April 1. It will increase another 50 cents to $15 on Oct. 1.

Other Recent Changes

Workplace Harassment and Violence

Bill C-65 came into force on Jan. 1, 2021, compelling federally regulated employers to follow specific procedures for investigating, recording, reporting, and preventing workplace harassment and violence (WPHV). Here’s a quick refresher:

  • All new hires must take WPHV training within three months of their start date.
  • Employers must conduct a workplace assessment to identify risks of harassment and violence, then implement a plan to mitigate these risks.
  • Employers must create a workplace harassment and violence policy to be reviewed and updated every three years and renew all training every three years.
  • Employers must appoint and train a “designated recipient” of all complaints related to workplace harassment and violence. This person should not be a supervisor or a manager. Complaints should be resolved within one year of the date on which the designated recipient receives notice of the incident.
  • Employers must also provide a report to the Minister by March 1st detailing the occurrences of workplace harassment and violence from the previous calendar year.
  • See our detailed guide to the WPHV regulations here.

Pay Equity Act

The Pay Equity Act came into force on Aug. 31, 2021, and requires federally regulated workplaces with 10 or more employees to provide equal pay for work of equal value.

Points to note:

  • Compensation packages must be equitable and in compliance with the Act. Depending on the employer’s size, this may involve establishing a pay equity committee.
  • Employers with 10 or more employees in the year before the Act came into force must develop a pay equity plan by Aug. 31, 2024. Employers that came to employ 10 or more employees at any point after the Act came into force will be subject to the Act on Jan. 1 of the following year and will have three years to implement their pay equity plan.
  • Once a pay equity plan is established, employers must increase compensation for predominantly female job classes where the pay is less than their male counterparts.

Need help? THRC is hosting a webinar series starting Jan. 12, 2023, at Noon EST. Register now.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Bill C-5 came into force on Aug. 3, 2021, and provides for the annual observance by the federal government and federally regulated employers of a new statutory holiday on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Source Deductions for 2023

Canadians can expect higher Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance deductions this year. The CPP contribution rate is 5.95% (11.9% for self-employed Canadians), with an estimated maximum contribution of $3,701. In Quebec, the QPP contribution rate is 6.4%, with a maximum of $4,038.

EI premiums are rising, too, with a federal contribution rate for employees of 1.63% to a maximum of $1,002.45. In Quebec, the 2023 contribution rate is 1.27% up to $781.

For trucking and logistics firms, the start of 2023 brings new challenges that require smart, dedicated, trained, and equipped people at every level of the organization. Reach out to [email protected] today to learn more about how we can help make sure you’re meeting your obligations as employers during the year ahead.

Upcoming Changes to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system

Changes to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system and impacts on the truck driver occupation

Melissa McGregor, Senior Program Advisor

Important changes are coming to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system that the government of Canada uses to classify jobs and determine eligibility for various programs and incentives. The old four-digit codes will be replaced by a five-digit system that represents the skills and experience associated with occupations in a new way. The five Skill Levels (0, A – D) that once determined the second digit of each NOC will be replaced by a six-tier Training, Experience, Education and Responsibilities indicator, known as a TEER category (TEER 0 -5).

While most occupations fall into TEER categories that are roughly equivalent to the Skill group they would have been in before, there are exceptions for occupations in the middle range of both systems, including long-haul truck driving. Formerly a Skill Level C occupation (the fourth of the five levels), transport truck drivers are now grouped into TEER 3 (out of six TEER levels), where they receive slightly more recognition, impacting the programs and initiatives they are eligible for. The most significant impact will be on express pathways to immigration.

Since NOCs help determine eligibility for immigration programs, the new codes have immediate implications for transport and logistics workers seeking entry to Canada. Under the previous system, long-haul truck drivers were not eligible for the Express Entry Program, meaning the most viable pathway to immigration for these workers was through provincial nomination programs. As of November 16, 2022, the program will begin using the new system. Transport truck drivers will be included in the General Trades major group, which is eligible for all streams of the Express Entry Program and included as a target group in the Federal Skilled Trades stream. This will potentially make it easier for employers to recruit experienced drivers from abroad, especially if they are able to provide a job offer and relocation assistance.

Why is the government changing the NOC system?

The NOC system undergoes periodic revisions to keep pace with the changing labour landscape. Jobs that have been essential to the Canadian economy at various points in time transform, merge, split, and occasionally give rise to new occupations, and the government’s classification system needs to reflect that. More importantly, though, the NOC update demonstrates a much-needed reassessment of the skills and experience associated with different jobs. The new TEER structure includes six categories, up from the five categories of the outgoing Skill Level scheme. As a result, new NOC classifications will offer more accurate and holistic representations of occupational skill level. Occupations that fell in the middle of the Skill Level scheme, such as long-haul trucking, will be most affected, since the newly added TEER categories are meant to address what was an overly broad range for Skill Levels B and C.

Comparison: NOC 2016 vs. NOC 2021

The updated NOC system was used for data collection in 2021 and will be more broadly implemented starting late 2022. Truck drivers will be represented by the code 73300, which signifies inclusion in the General Trades major group, the Transport Occupations sub-major group, and the Transport Truck and Transit Drivers minor group. The table below shows the main differences between the new NOC system the 2016 version it replaces.

VersionNOC CodeClassificationSkill / Experience Level
2021 (New)
Trades, transport, and equipment operators > TEER 3 > General trades > Transportation occupations > Transport truck and transit drivers
TEER 3: Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of less than 2 years; or more than 6 months of on-the-job training
2016 (Old)
Trades, transport, and equipment operators > Skill Level C > Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations > Motor vehicle and transit drivers
Skill Level C: Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training

You can learn more about the NOC update on the government of Canada’s website.

Continue to follow our newsletter and blog posts for more information on impacts for trucking and logistics employers.