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Pandemic is fuelling a surge of interest in trucking jobs

'We have seen with this COVID situation that trucking is a career we need to make this world operate,' says DriveWise/Knowledge Surge official

Life on the road has become more appealing as local businesses feel the impact of COVID-19 and many turn to the trucking industry for a career.

According to data information platform Statista, in 2017, the trucking industry generated almost $39 billion (Canadian) from almost 66.5 million shipments. As COVID-19 put some businesses on hold and others out of business permanently, DriveWise/KnowledgeSurge is seeing an increase in people looking to trucking for a career.

DriveWise/KnowledgeSurge commercial driver solutions manager Samantha Clarke told BarrieToday that the current health crisis has started to show people which careers are truly vital for the economy.

”We have seen with this COVID situation that trucking is a career we need to make this world operate,” said Clarke. “People are finally starting to see this and give truck drivers the recognition they deserve.”

DriveWise/KnolwedgeSurge on Commerce Drive in Barrie’s south end, offers advanced training for careers in the transportation industry. 

Some of the reasons Clarke has heard as to why people are switching gears to trucking are year-round steady work, great pay, travelling and a love for driving.

“Most recently we have been hearing that people want a meaningful career that gives back and helps others,” said Clarke. “Some of the professions we have heard from are teachers, pilots, construction workers and retail workers.”

Jim Stadt lives just outside of Barrie and works at a trucking company in Vaughan. Stadt said he made the switch from bartender just before the health crisis hit and feels lucky he did.

“I didn’t leave the restaurant industry because of COVID, but I’m glad I’m out now,” said Stadt.

“I’m working regular hours, sometimes overtime, and am home in time to see my family for a bit before bed. I can’t imagine what the people in the restaurant business are going through right now," he said.