It’s not as easy as it sounds. But unfortunately, Canadians are not lining up to work as truck drivers, despite the fact that North American trucking is in dire straits due to an unprecedented shortage of drivers. Thus, many Canadian fleets are willing to hire on foreign residents. If your fleet is looking to hire foreign labor, get ready to jump through hoops to get a new driver.
Are Canadians missing the boat here? Canadian fleets are offering best ever great compensation packages and long-term steady employment. Can you say job security? Since Canadians are not stepping up to become truck drivers, fleets are hiring foreign labor to keep supply chains churning. It’s not anything like a cake walk.
For a fleet wanting to hire a foreign worker, the first requirement is to establish the need for a foreign driver. You must demonstrate that a Canadian resident is not going to be displaced by a foreign truck driver. Canadians get the first opportunity to take a job.
The next hurdle for an employer is to get a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Before the LMIA is okayed, the prospective employer may be required to advertise the position to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
The next requirement for a foreign truck driver is a work permit. There are two options for work permits for foreign workers: one is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the other is the International Mobility Program (IMP) which includes persons entering under trade treaties, people entering on open work permits, and intra-company transferees.
Once a foreign worker enters your employ, it’s up to you to provide orientation about their employment, workplace policies and safety procedures, and Canadian regulations. It’s also a good idea to bring them up to speed on ELD functions.
Help the driver find accommodation, transportation, and anything else to get the driver settled. Next up is getting a Provincial driver license, which may be a daunting process for a newcomer. If the new hire needs training and certification, get him or her into those programs. The sooner you do, you’ll have another asset in the form of the driver you really need.
As the employer, you must comply with Canadian employment standards such as minimum wage laws, hours of service regulations, workplace safety, and employee benefits. Encourage your new driver to connect with other drivers and fit in with them. Be mindful of the driver’s culture and help him or her to fit in with the group. The answer for now is to welcome new Canadians who can help keep the freight moving and support the supply chain. No matter where we come from, let friends from abroad help us. Motor safely. Together.