The Ontario government is investing $600,000 in a skills training project in the Waterloo region to prepare 30 women and individuals from underrepresented groups for careers in the trucking industry.
The 14-week training, organized by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, focuses on improving the participants’ soft and technical skills.
This program will provide people with more opportunities to find meaningful, well-paying jobs and address labour shortages in the region’s trucking sector.
“Our government is taking deliberate steps to make sure anyone who wants to work can get the training they need to establish rewarding careers right now,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “This project will connect women, young people, Indigenous people and underrepresented groups with free and in-demand training to become licensed truck drivers in the Waterloo region. This is just one example of our commitment to support essential services in the province.”
Participants will obtain their AZ driver’s licence, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario, as well as a certificate of completion that demonstrates to employers one has met training requirements. Childcare services and supports will also be provided for eligible program participants.
“We are determined that women will not be left behind in Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women’s issues. In 2019, there was an estimated number of 6,300 women who worked as transport truck drivers in Ontario, according to a Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
“This is an exciting project that will help address the skilled labour shortage the trucking industry is facing now for professional truck drivers,” says Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, CEO of Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada.
The first cohort will begin training on May 3. Those who are interested in applying for future rounds of training can contact the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be a combination of primarily virtual and in-person. Training will include safety components for on-the-road transport including delivery/pick-up sites and cross-border precautions during COVID-19.