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4 reasons to prioritize reskilling your drivers


Reskilling is a win-win for all involved.

The trucking business is not exactly new on the block; it traces back to the late 1800s with the introduction of the internal combustion engine. Long in the tooth though it may be, trucking isn't your great grandfather's, grandfather's or even father's industry anymore. With the world economy more interconnected than ever before and digital transformation sweeping the globe, drivers these days must be equipped with a broader, more diverse package of skill sets than their predecessors ever dreamed of having.

Here are a few reasons why reskilling should be on your list of priorities moving forward:

1. Helps with retention
According to the American Trucking Associations, the driver shortfall is currently at 80,000 and forecast to reach as high as 160,000 by 2030. One of the factors contributing to the trucker shortage is retention, or lack thereof.

Reskilling provides workers with the incentive to stay right where they are. Indeed, according to statistics gathered by Lorman, over three-quarters of respondents — 76% — find employers who are willing to teach their employees a wide range of skill sets to be more appealing than those that do not.

Additionally, 74% said they'd be open to reskilling knowing that the upshot was enhancing their employability.

2. Affords drivers with more job opportunities
Commercial drivers licenses aren't all one and the same; there are varying classes, including Class B and Class A. Starting early next year — Feb. 7 — new federal Entry-Level Driver Training requirements will go into effect.

As the American Trucking Associations points out, the revised ELDT regulations won't affect the vast majority of professional drivers who already have their licenses. But if they're seeking to upgrade their class — moving from Class B to Class A — or obtain endorsement so they can legally perform a specific task, they may.

The best move may be to get out ahead of these changes by providing your work crew with the opportunity to learn new capabilities right now. In doing so, you'll equip them with the qualifications they need to improve their earning potential.

3. May persuade drivers to delay retirement
The biggest contributor to the driver shortage is retirement, both currently and in the years ahead. However, reskilling your veteran drivers may inspire them to put retirement on the back burner. Reskilling is something that introduces workers to an entirely new work activity or task that they weren't privy to. They may so enjoy this new capability of theirs, it inspires them to remain in the workforce for longer than they'd anticipated.

4. Can enhance recruitment
While retention is important, it must be paired with ongoing recruitment to grow the industry and keep it moving forward. Reskilling can make job openings more appealing to applicants who may be on the fence about switching professions or employers. According to Lorman data, nearly 60% of millennials pointed to development opportunities as a selling point for applying to a job opening.

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