BRAMPTON: The Ontario government is investing nearly $400,000 in a skills training project to prepare 24 newcomers for careers in the trucking industry in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
The investment is part of an effort to provide more people with opportunities to find meaningful, well-paying jobs while keeping Ontario competitive in a sector that is expected to see 25,000 vacancies across Canada by 2023.
Program details were announced by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Amarjot Sandhu, MPP for Brampton West.
“Truck drivers serve a critical role in our economy by delivering goods and helping ensure local businesses can reach their consumers at home and abroad,” Minister McNaughton said.
“There is a lot of talent in this province and this free program will help newcomers to Ontario join an exciting industry and build a better life themselves and their loved ones.”
The program, in partnership with Hamilton’s Immigrants Working Centre, Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and several transportation companies, comes at no cost for participants.
They will obtain their AZ drivers licence, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario. This program also provides language training and interview assistance, a paid job placement, and funds to cover travel costs or childcare.
“Programs like this can make a real impact in helping ease the labour shortage we’re seeing in the transportation sector,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.
“Families and businesses across Ontario can rest easy knowing that these future drivers will ensure the safe and timely delivery of goods to their communities every day.”
Recruitment for the program has already begun, and the first cohort of 12 participants is expected to begin training by the end of May. Participants are expected to be ready for employment by the end of September. The second 12-participant cohort is scheduled to begin training in August.
Job seekers interested in applying for this local SkillsAdvance Ontario project should contact Employment Ontario.
• This driver training project is one of 49 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across the province dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in hospitality and tourism; hospitality and food; steel; mining; construction; manufacturing; warehousing; transportation; healthcare; social assistance; PSW; early childhood education; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; arboriculture; landscape and horticulture; cannabis; financial services; and accessible digital media transportation sectors.
• Given the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be a combination of virtual and in-person.
Elizabeth Webb, Assistant Executive Director, Immigrants Working Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be supported by the province of Ontario in the delivery of this transportation sector project, which provides a unique opportunity to blend sector orientation and communication and soft skills development for the local context with technical skills training, filling a gap and creating an important service pathway for newcomers to Canada in Ontario.”