Volunteers in transport: pandemic and shortage hamper recruitment

Volunteers in transport: pandemic and scarcity recruitment

MISE & Agrave; DAY

The labor shortage and the pandemic are making it difficult to recruit volunteers, while several organizations including Nez Rouge are struggling to find volunteers, especially when it comes to transportation.

“The recruitment of volunteers is always an issue and in terms of transport, indeed, it got complicated with the pandemic”, launches from the outset Michel Alexandre Cauchon, general manager of the Federation of volunteer centers of Quebec. (FCABQ).

Mr. Cauchon indicates that the issue is explained in particular by the fears related to Covid-19 that volunteers may have, but also because the government recommendations – which concern the taxi industry, carpooling and voluntary transport support – are very restrictive.

“It's a 13-page document,” Mr. Cauchon drops. That slows down a lot of people who would like to give of their time. ”

Among the recommendations, we find in particular the installation of a partition. Volunteers can no longer make multiple addresses, since there must be only one beneficiary at a time and proof of vaccination is mandatory.

The FCABQ has around 40 volunteer transport positions to fill.

“Of the 40 positions, we only received three applications. Usually, these are positions that fill quite well, ”continues the CEO.

He adds that the exorbitant price of gasoline does not help their cause.

Operation Red Nose (ONR) is experiencing the same situation, while the drive-home campaign begins this evening.

“It is now possible to believe that the pandemic is exacerbating our usual challenges in recruiting volunteers”, underlines Anne-Marie Audet, CEO of ONR.

She, too, believes that recruiting more difficult this year is caused not only by the pandemic, but also by the shortage of manpower.


The TZ Capitale-Nationale organization, which also offers escort services, is no exception either.

“Since the pandemic, [volunteers] have not returned . We contact them, but it seems that they are less inclined to find it ”laments Daniel Bédard, the general manager.

Mr. Bédard indicates that they normally have a pool of occasional volunteers of between 250 and 300 drivers.

“There, I would say that we have a hundred”, estimates – il.

When the holidays arrive, they are worried about this situation. In December, TZ Capitale-Nationale makes between 9 and 11,000 rides.

“It takes people who come to do it. Many companies call us to benefit from our services during their office party. We fear that we will not be able to [accommodate everyone], ”shares Mr. Bédard.

In addition to the pandemic, he believes that the reality of many volunteers may have changed, which explains their absence. The labor shortage decreases the availability.

“Before, they had more time for themselves, but now, they are asked by their employers to work overtime,” he says. argue.

At the Center d'Action Volunteer de Québec, they report the same situation.

“Transportation is more difficult. This is the offer to which it responds the least ”, confirms the general manager, Catherine Montour.

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