In the provincial government’s Labour Market Outlook 2022, transport truck drivers were identified as number two in the top-10 most-needed professions.
It’s estimated that the province will need a whopping 18,000 drivers by 2022.
“Those numbers are staggering,” said Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s dean of trades and apprenticeship.
“But the college is partnering with both industry and the government to fill that gap and provide workers with the skills they need to be competitive in the future.”
Okanagan College joined forces seven years ago with Taylor Pro Training to offer class one driver training.
This experiential, full-time program covers the broad range of hands-on skills necessary to find employment as a transport truck driver and can be completed in just six weeks.
The provincial government, realizing this looming shortage, has provided full funding for the program to eligible applicants through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund.
Of the 32 students who participated last year in the tuition-free program, 29 found employment in the trucking industry.
To be eligible for the funding, applicants must be unemployed, legally entitled to work in Canada, a resident of B.C., not currently receiving employment insurance or have not received it in the last three years, not enrolled in high school or another post-secondary training program, and not participating in another government-funded program.
A Vernon intake for the class one driver training program is happening Dec. 15.
For more information about the program, contact Shawna Klempner at 1-877-755-2266, ext. 4479.