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Manitoba Truckers Needed: How to Get Funding for Truck Driver Training
Jan 27, 2020
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Manitoba’s most recent labour market information report (Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2019-2025) shows transport truck driver is an occupation with one of the highest levels of net openings. In fact, 99 percent of the 500 specifically listed occupations in the report have lower new job numbers than transport truck driver.

Manitoba needs 4,100 Transport Truck Drivers by 2025 if the needs of the provincial economy are going to be met. While this information highlights a serious economic concern, it also presents significant job fulfillment and public policy opportunity. Specifically, in support of the Manitoba Skills Strategy and Manitoba Works plans which have targeted “enhanced alignment between workforce training …and labour market needs” as well as “40,000 private sector jobs”. According to a national labour market forecast, vacancies for truck drivers across the country have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.

So what options are available for carriers to fill these positions? There is the driver training funding program, which covers the cost of driver training for those eligible applicants. Hundreds of Manitobans have been trained via this program already. The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) encourages trucking companies looking for drivers to take part in the program.
So how does it work?

FUNDING FOR TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING

People who are looking to become drivers first need to obtain their class 5 driver’s license and finish the graduated licensee process. At this point, air brakes certification may be required.
Once you complete the graduate process, you will need your class medical, which has to be completed by a doctor and can be obtained through the registry of motor vehicles or Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) or your local insurance broker. Your medical conditions will be reviewed by a board of approval of Class 1 upgrade.
After you receive your medical, obtain the Class 1 instruction, book your test with MPI, and write your class 1 knowledge test.

You will then have to obtain your commercial abstract from MPI or your insurance broker. A commercial driver’s abstract reflects your driving habits for all class vehicles. The next step is to get a criminal record check. A clean search report is best because it allows you to cross the border, but its not necessary.

There are six approved truck driver training schools in the province. Upon registration the school will provide you with a letter acknowledging your registration.
You will also need to obtain a letter of intent from a trucking company. A letter is an acknowledgment-not an offer-that you spoke with them about the trucking industry. It indicates that the employer will hire you upon completing school and a company road test, based on the information you provided them. The letter of intent and registration letter will now allow you to approach your local Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre for approval of funding.
Funding is available for the 240-hour Class 1 Training Program and is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

FOR EMPLOYERS

There are also opportunities to promote your organization by other means, such as Yes! Winnipeg’s 2020 International Recruitment Mission. The Asper School of Business regularly looks for companies to work with on co-op placements, as does Red River College. While these are not all opportunities for driving positions, the reality is that we need talented people throughout our industry.

Finally, there are resources available to smaller trucking companies, such as the Canada Small Business Financing Program, that will support investment in your organization (not specifically people) that may help your business grow as needed.
It can sometimes be a challenge to know where to turn to support your business, but the first place to try is the MTA. We regularly receive new information about new programs and opportunities, and we are always working to improve efficiency in bringing new people to our industry. So, if you have a question or aren’t sure where to turn for resources, contact us.
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