truck driver shortage

Truck Driver Shortage



qualify would be maneuver
semi task tough (2)
due to replace shortage
trainee sponsor long-term
federal forklift intensive
fund welfare compress
freight steady take advantage
recruit irregular desperate
supply demand exclusively
alleviate turn down






Would be truck drivers in Germany have to learn how to maneuver right down to the centimeter; or they won’t qualify.

Backing a 40-ton semi around a corner is one of the truck drivers’ toughest tasks.

The Road Transport Cooperative has operated a training program for truck drivers for a year-and-a-half. The project was started due to a shortage of qualified drivers.

Guido Frommholz, Road Transport Cooperative: “Every year, 20,000 drivers retire. We can’t replace them with new drivers fast enough. So the shortage is getting worse.”

The trainees come from all over the world. Some from Russia, Poland — even from Africa. Many are long-term unemployed sponsored by Federal Government Labor Agency.

Operating a forklift is part of their training. Drivers have to be able to load and unload their trucks themselves.

The intensive course is compressed into nine months. Normally it lasts three years. The 25,000€ cost is covered by EU Social Welfare funds and the Federal Labor Agency.

Getting a trucker’s license is a big opportunity for Rahim Mahama. Although he’s been living in Germany for 20 years, he’s never been able to find a steady job.

Driver Trainee: “At some point I’m going to be too old to get a job without training; and I’m too young to get a retirement pension. That’s why I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get on this course. So I can find a steady job.”

German trucking firms are desperate for drivers. Freight traffic is increasing more and more, partly due to the growth in internet sales. Those goods are transported almost exclusively by road.

But there’s a shortage of new drivers.

Many young people find the job too stressful due to increasing traffic, more and more road construction, and irregular hours.

Trucking firm manager Arthur Kurz has had to recruit drivers from Latvia because he was unable to find any in Germany.

Arthur Kurz, K&C Transport Managing Director: “You normally get a couple of weak months every year—usually January and February.”

“But that didn’t happen this year because demand was so high. I had to turn down jobs. In good times, I had to turn down 20% to 30% of the offers.”

Kurz has given his drivers a ten percent raise in hopes that the training project will alleviate the shortage.

That gives these trainees a good chance of finding steady jobs when they’ve completed the course.

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1. Where is this place? What are the people doing?

2. The training is difficult. True or false? They only learn how to drive trucks. Yes or no?

3. The trainees are only German. Is this correct or wrong?

4. Why have they set up a truck training program? Do the truck companies sponsor the program? Where does the funding come from?

5. Young Germans want to become truck drivers. Yes or no? Why or why not?

6. Is there a growing demand for trucking services? Why is there an increasing demand?

7. Is business good, bad or “too good” for the Kruz’s truck company?
A. There is a lot of trucking in my country. Yes or no?

B. What are the stereotypes of truck drivers? Do they earn a lot of money?

C. Do young people in your city want to become truck drivers? Is there a shortage of truck drivers?

D. Do you or your friends want to become a truck driver?

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