Beginning Tuesday, July 26, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is allowing carriers to register to participate within the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program. This is especially open to individuals younger than 21-year-olds. It’s all a combined effort with the Department of Labor acting on the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Younger drivers are likely to help in the growing problem seen in the FMCSA, regarding a lack of individuals in the workforce. The FMCSA spoke of such a program as early as September 2020. Through the pilot program, carriers are able to register as apprenticeships with the Department of Labor and recruit under-21 drivers to navigate commercial vehicles interstate. Programs like these seek provision of the trucking industry with access to a young driver pool, while allowing drivers under the age of 21 for operation beyond state lines, all while keeping safety in good focus by requiring specific training actions, reporting and supervision.
The program usually attracts a rather diverse group of participants from a variety of small, medium and large trucking companies, while it requires carriers in order to overcome administrative blockages. Only carriers with great standing will be able to overcome the instances presented here. With the staffing and equipment requirements, all without an experienced driver that is game to do training on-hand, while also having to deal with automated transmissions, while also dealing driver-facing cameras, which may be impossible for carriers to participate in.
Carriers going through the steps are expected to become recognized apprenticeship program entries, while having access to outperforming groups of workers and other tax credits also. The carrier recruits an apprentice driver to the program, as the driver, for many reasons, are sticking with law-strucured and incidental rationales. This is a likelihood that will get the carriers to stick until the completion of the program, looking to be as late as July 2025.
In order to start the process, the USDOT must be entered, as well as other useful information, like the carrier name and a point of contact and address. So long as fleet size, CDL classes and driver turnover rate is accounted for. Under these circumstances, the FMCSA is very vigilant for all the different types of carriers found around the country as well as various pay structures and annual miles traveled.
So what is required for Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program applicants?
Under the carrier requirements, there’s a need to participate in the pilot program. This is a means of a calculation of a carrier’s crash rate as well as driver and vehicle OOS rates. FMCSA put their efforts towards the 2021 national averages and they’ll use the averages through the program all until it’s concluded in July 2025. FMCSA is going to admit a maximum of 1,000 carriers into the program and approximately 3,000 apprentice drivers.
Of course, the FMCSA is in need of more carriers to power for the apprentice drivers with a clean record. The apprentice driver is in need of a CDL and stay in good standings. On the website of www.FMCSA.dot.gov/safedriver, applicants under the age of 21 may apply with no problem whatsoever.