Study to Explore Safety, Skills, Literacy Links in Trucking

Ottawa will fund a program to examine the links between safety and literacy, and other essential skills of trucking industry workers in Atlantic Canada.

The $640,000 is funded through the federal government’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills program.

Kelly Henderson, executive director of the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council, characterized essential skills as numeracy, reading documents, and computer and communication abilities.

The hope is that the research will give companies new tools to help increase productivity, while helping with the challenge of recruiting and retaining new people and help current drivers upgrade their skills. From this study, a toolkit will be developed to help employers address essential skills challenges in the workplace.

The industry is facing a driver shortage of up to 33,000 by 2020.

During that time, increased literacy levels in the industry will become increasingly important to both safety and productivity as technology becomes more complex, says Henderson.