More than ever, drivers are needed in the commercial transportation sector to help get Alberta products to market and ensure communities have access to essential goods and services. In Alberta, women represent only 2.9 per cent of commercial truckers, below the national rate of four per cent. There are approximately 4,260 transport truck driver job vacancies in the province.

To help address these labour shortages in the commercial trucking industry, in 2022-23 Alberta’s government committed $40 million over four years to provide commercial driver training grants to unemployed and underemployed Albertans. This $2.8-million funding commitment over two years will help Women Building Futures provide programming that teaches skills, builds confidence and connects graduates to good jobs as drivers with companies that are committed to creating safe and inclusive workplaces.

“Alberta has a shortage of skilled drivers, which impacts the supply chain and creates inflationary pressures. Fewer than three per cent of Class 1 drivers in Alberta are women, and by providing grants to support organizations like Women Building Futures, we can help people get good-paying jobs and alleviate critical shortages in trucking.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors

Ensuring women in Alberta have access to good quality jobs and can succeed in fulfilling careers is crucial to the province’s success. Alberta consistently leads the country with the highest employment rate for women, and last month, women’s unemployment again dropped below five per cent. This funding will help prepare more unemployed and underemployed women for successful careers that mean a regular paycheque for their families and a stronger economy.

“Alberta’s government is dedicated to ensuring women can fully participate in our province’s growing economy. Our province is stronger when more women are in the driver’s seat, and through funding like this, we can help women gain meaningful employment and help continue Alberta’s impressive economic momentum.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women

Women Building Futures is a non-profit organization that offers programs and support services to help women explore and connect to careers that pay above a living wage. The organization plays an important role in supporting women in industries where they are traditionally underrepresented like commercial transportation, construction trades, operations and supply chain.

“Women Building Futures is proud to stay at the forefront of leading change for women entering new careers in commercial transportation. By partnering with employers that value and work to make inclusive workspaces – and with tremendous support from the Government of Alberta – we will see more women driving to an economically secure future.”

Carol Moen, president and CEO, Women Building Futures

Quick facts

  • The $2.8-million grant is being provided over two years:
    • $1.3 million in 2023-24
    • $1.5 million in 2024-25
  • Trucking HR Canada reports that women account for only about four per cent of people who drive a truck for a living in Canada.
  • Of Alberta’s 149,638 Class 1 drivers, only 4,370 are women (or 2.9 per cent). This represents 20 per cent of the total vacancies in Canada.
  • Women Building Futures  (WBF) has had 3,000 graduates over its 25 years of operation.
  • In 2022-23, WBF reported:    
    • 18 programs delivered in Alberta and Saskatchewan   
    • 533 – the number of times women accessed coaching and readiness services  
    • 188 program graduates
    • 38 per cent of graduates were previously unemployed (the rest were largely underemployed) and 35 per cent had dependents or children   
    • 87 per cent of graduates were employed in fields related to their training within six months of graduating   

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