BC supporting truck driver training

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by Emily Atkins

The BC government is providing funding for truck driver training for Indigenous people and newcomers to the province.

Eight eligible Indigenous people will receive skills training to prepare them for jobs as professional truck drivers in the Kamloops area. Up to 30 people will receive training to prepare them for jobs as professional truck drivers in the Lower Mainland.

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is providing more than $290,000 to Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc through the Community and Employment Partnerships (CEP) fund to provide the training.

Participants will receive 15 weeks of employability and soft-skills training, including communication and mandatory entry-level training (MELT), seven weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers, and two weeks of followup support to assist participants in their job search.

“This program is designed to provide the participants a combination of both theoretical and applied knowledge and on-the-job experience to give them a clear pathway to careers in transportation,” said Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc.

Big Rig Driving School in Surrey is receiving more than $660,000 to prepare immigrants for employment as professional truck drivers.

Participants will receive 10 weeks of employability and essential skills training, including communication and Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT), four weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers, and one week of followup support to assist participants in their job search.

“This training will help people gain the necessary skills and education for employment as truck drivers, which is in high demand,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of social development and poverty reduction. “For newcomers and immigrants, this training is a pathway to rewarding employment and stability for their families.”

The first intake of full-time, group-based learning began Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. The second and third intakes begin March and July 2023, respectively. People interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

“This program will give the participants a great learning experience with a combination of applied knowledge and on-the-job experience to give them a clear pathway to careers in the truck driving industry,” said Harry Bacchal, president, Big Rig Driving School Ltd.