Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program will now include the trucking industry in its skills stream, allowing trucking companies to hire foreign labour.
The change was announced as part of Premier Doug Ford’s 2019 Budget, in response to Ontario’s truck driver shortage crisis.
While 90% of the province’s consumer goods are transported by truckers, the Conference Board of Canada’s recent report suggests there will be a shortage of 14,000 truck drivers in five years. And while immigration alone isn’t likely to solve the shortage of drivers, it will help slow the industry’s stagnation.
Foreign workers accepted into the provincial program would still have to undergo the standard entry-level training and provincial road test, as well as any employer-specific training.
The Government of Ontario also plans to start a pilot program that will help introduce skilled immigrants to smaller communities, so that these communities can benefit from the increased diversity and skill sets of newcomers.