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Professional truck driver training benefits unemployed youth

November 14, 2022 at 8:39 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

As many as 16 eligible British Columbians will receive skills training to prepare for employment as professional truck drivers.

The new provincial Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project focuses on training for youth in the West Kootenays.

“This project is empowering youth by providing them new and rewarding employment opportunities in a high-demand sector that could lead them to a brighter future,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Participants who graduate from the program will receive their Class 1 licence, along with the skills and knowledge they need to find rewarding careers in the professional trucking industry in our province.”

The Province is providing more than $340,000 to the Mountain Transport Institute to deliver four intakes of its professional Class 1 driver-training program in the West Kootenays.

“Graduates of this training program will receive the mandatory entry-level training (MELT), which has been required for new commercial truck drivers since October 2021,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We are helping people become professional drivers, while also making our highways safe.”

Participants will receive 10 weeks of employability and occupational skills training, including certification courses in Workplace Hazardous Material Information Systems (WHMIS) and Level 1 First Aid with CPR, four weeks of on-the-job experience with local employers, and two weeks of followup support to prepare participants for their job search.

“Our government is providing more people with the education and experience they need to join a growing number of professional truck drivers in the region,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “Aligned with our Future Ready plan, the program provides more British Columbians with the professional training and skills they need to be successful in this growing sector.”

Full-time, group-based learning for the first intake of the project started Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. The second intake starts Jan. 3, 2023, the third intake at the end of February, and the fourth and final intake starts in April 2023. People interested in finding out about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

“We developed this training with the thought of providing people a pathway to a career in transportation,” said Andy Roberts, president, Mountain Transport Institute Ltd. “This program exceeds the minimum MELT standard in B.C. and provides theoretical and practical knowledge students need to become qualified entry-level professional drivers. After obtaining their Class 1 licence, students are further supported by our industry partners with on-the-job training to get their careers rolling.”

This announcement is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan, which is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for jobs.

Quick Facts:

  • Funding for the project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC’s CEP.
  • CEP investments are targeted at projects that support an inclusive economic recovery.
  • CEP projects support B.C. job seekers’ training and work experience, and help businesses and communities address labour market challenges.
  • Through CEP, the Province invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.

Learn More:

Learn how CEPs are helping local communities: www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Learn how WorkBC can help find British Columbians jobs that are right for them: www.workbc.ca/rightforyou

Find your local WorkBC centre: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/WorkBC-Centres-Listing.aspx

Mountain Transport Institute: https://www.drivemti.com/melt-info/

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