It’s a free ride, so why try?

I am all for people getting opportunities and being encouraged to work in different industries by government funding. These programs are in place to help people get a leg up and learn a new trade or start a new career in a new industry. Right now in the transportation industry many programs are in place to help people enter the transportation industry. I fully support that and hope those that need it take advantage of it. But do these programs bring the right people for the job or are we just filling seats? That’s what we are trying to get away from. Is it too easy of a free ride for some?

As a trainer I see all types of people come through the classroom and for the most part many are eager to learn and start on their new career. I do however see many who won’t make it and I have to wonder if they are using the program as a free ride. Now I agree that not every person is good at learning in the classroom, I get that, I wasn’t either. But we are not asking you to go to University.My theory is that if you can’t sit through six full day classes then you are going to have a really hard time when you enter the industry and find you can’t keep a job. Will you be any better off? I see people who sleep through the whole class, don’t bring pens or papers to write with, and have all kinds of excuses as to why they can’t make it to class, or why they can’t hand in their exercises. My question is why are you here? When someone is interested in something, has a passion for it, you don’t have to tell them how to learn about it, they will anyway.

My advice is no matter what program is available or how good it sounds, if you don’t have a burning desire to be involved then don’t let someone talk you into that career. You are not helping yourself, the industry, or the programs. Yes people need choices, yes people need chances, and yes people need jobs, but if we are just putting them through the motions so the numbers look good on some graph are we really helping them? The answer might be no!

Good businesses know when to say something isn’t a fit with their services and move on. I am not suggesting we don’t help people but think people are being put in programs that don’t fit with the career that they are entering into. Let’s stop the hamster wheel of just filling seats in our industry. Let’s get people that want to be in those seats and put our industry on top with people who want to be there. We will all be a lot better off in the end.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Running by the Mile and Driven to Drive. He is an author, trainer, columnist, and speaker in the industry. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his website at

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