Class 1 Driver Training

There is always a need for skilled, professional Class 1 drivers.  

As we have seen recently, not only is there still a need for drivers, but there is also a greater appreciation for what drivers do and the vital role they play in our economy.

While these numbers are based on pre-pandemic data, they are still important numbers to share: the trucking industry, especially our driving population, consists of an aging workforce with an average driver age of 55 years old. Only 15% of the trucking industry’s workforce is under 30 years of age. In 2019, the province estimated a shortage of 4100 drivers in Manitoba by 2025. In short, there’s a real need for drivers, and there will continue to be one for years to come.

From Trucking HR Canada’s LMI Snapshot – January 2023:

With total demand for drivers up by 31,695 driver jobs to 339,500 in Q3 2022, the labour supply in the occupation also increased, albeit by a slower rate. Estimated total supply of truck drivers in Q3 of 2022 was 319,300, up 26,400 workers from the second quarter. As a result, the driver shortage* increased sharply in third quarter of 2022 to a gap between demand and supply of some 20,200 workers, up 79% over the same quarter in 2021. 


What resources are available for those interested?

In Manitoba, there are two training options available: MELT (Mandatory Entry Level Training, a 121.5 hour program) or the Driver Training Funding program, a 244 hour pre-employment program with tuition costs covered for eligible applicants. Graduates of the 244 hour program are professional drivers ready to work commercially.


How Do I Become an Eligible Applicant?

The first step is to meet with a representative from a Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre.  There, you will move to Step Two, which is involvement in a client intake, assessment and planning.

From Step Two, you will secure a Conditional Offer of Employment (COE) from an employer.  With this COE, you can now obtain a letter of acceptance from an approved private vocational institution, or driver training school (see list of approved schools below).

Individuals who receive a conditional offer of employment from a trucking company and a letter of acceptance from an accredited Class 1 truck driver training school may be eligible to receive up to 100% tuition funding for their truck driver training. Other financial supports will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis depending on individual need, but may include living allowances and other incidental costs.  Please note that eligibility for this program is limited to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

How Do I Get Started?

As many offices are currently closed or have modified schedules , call ahead to book appointments for any meetings, whether in-person, via conference call, or by phone. The first place to call is Industry, Training & Employment Services – 204-945-0575 (in Winnipeg) or 1-866-332-5077 (toll free) in order to get your application started.

Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre locations (including addresses and phone numbers) can be found on this page  CLICK HERE.


What Schools Are Currently Offering Training?

Accent Driving School Ltd.

Arnold Bros. Transportation Academy

Ben’s International Driving School

Blue Bird Class 1 & 3 Training Centre Ltd.

Buffalo Driver Training

First Class Training Centre Inc.

Front Runner Driving School

Highway King Class 1 Training Centre

Perfect One Driving School Ltd.

Professional Transport Driver Training School

United Transportation Driver Training


Looking for some information to get you started?

MPI’s Professional Driver’s Manual is a great way to get started on your career as a commercial truck driver.


Further Resources

Through their Career ExpressWay Program, Trucking HR Canada also has funding available for those interested in obtaining a Class 1 licence.  There are also wage subsidies available for employers to help with on-the-job training supports to help new drivers develop the skills needed to move from  new graduate to skilled professional.  Visit Trucking HR Canada’s website to learn more about this opportunity.


Need more information?

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Danielle at the MTA office, either by phone (204-632-6600) or email (


*The driver “shortage” is based on the difference between the demand for workers (measured as all jobs in the occupation, both filled and vacant) and the supply of workers (measured by the total labour force, both employed and those who are actively seeking work). This “shortage” is a best-case scenario because it assumes that all workers who are actively seeking work are suitable candidates for the available jobs. It is likely that the shortage reported here underestimates the actual shortage of drivers. 

Funding Provided by: Financement fourni par :
The Government of Canada          The Manitoba Government Le gouvernement du Canada          Le gouvernement du Manitoba 

Manitoba Trucking Association is located in Treaty One Territory, the home and traditional lands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Ininew (Cree), and Dakota peoples, and in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. Our drinking water comes from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, in Treaty Three Territory.