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 license, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario. This program also provides language training and interview assistance, a paid job placement for each participant, and funds to cover expenses such as 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 for truck drivers,” 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.
Protecting our economy, and supporting families, workers and employers, is part of the government’s 2021 Budget, which includes measures to help workers recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and develop the in-demand skills needed for the future. This is why Ontario is investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for employment and training supports, including $117.3 million to assist those who are facing the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic such as women, racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities.