USA's Truck Driver Apprenticeship Scheme Arouses COntroversy
Under current laws, 18-20-year-olds are not allowed to drive interstate commerce. This alone has been a controversial issue for some time.
The issue has been sparked further by the USA Federal Government announcing plans to overcome the problem of young drivers not being allowed to drive interstate by creating a driver apprenticeship scheme for 18-20-year-olds who are seeking jobs in the trucking industry.
The departments of Transportation and Labour have announced a 90 Day Trucking Apprenticeship Challenge to rapidly create registered apprenticeships as a way to help employers attract and train younger drivers.
The apprenticeship scheme is to counter the USA’s desperate shortage of truck drivers.
The controversy is that many truck drivers believe the regulation of not allowing young drivers to drive interstate freight as being ridiculous. They say the driving style doesn’t change between states.
Furthermore, the point has been driven home that if an 18-year-old can serve in the military and fight for his country, then an 18-year-old should be allowed to drive out of state.
Nevertheless the scheme is going ahead as since the announcement more than 100 companies have accepted the plan.
Carrier companies approved to participate will be required to submit monthly data on an apprentice’s driving activity, safety outcomes, and any additional supporting information, such as from onboard monitoring systems.
Truck driving is a massive industry in the U.S., with 3.6 million employed as professional drivers and 7.95 million working in the transportation field in some way. This accounts for 5.8% of the overall United States workforce.