Last week, March 14th, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) corresponded with the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese. The letter points out the “misclassification” of truck drivers under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) “C” which means the Ontario trucking industry does not currently qualify for The Ontario Immigration Nomination Program (ONIP).
This puts our industry at a huge disadvantage against other industries creating a uneven playing field when recruiting drivers and promoting the careers for Professional Drivers. It is time our Provincial Government includes Professional Driver in the the Provincial Nominee Program. Kudos to the OTA for corresponding with the Minister. I encourage other like minded industry associations and groups to get behind this initiative and keep the foot on the gas. Collectively we can make a difference. I will be encouraging the TTSAO Board of Directors and our membership to support taking action and will be corresponding on behalf of the TTSAO with the Minister.
The next opportunity for change to the NOC code does not come until 2021. With that in mind, our industry as a group needs to to ask the government to include truck drivers as part of the “in demand skills” stream pilot of the ONIP. It is important to note that the Conference Board of Canada and the transportation research firm CPCS study reports Canada is on pace for a shortage of truck drivers that could exceed 48,000 by shortage of drivers (workers) is unparalleled compared to other industries. Now is the time to help make change.