Newcomers get free A/Z licence training

The Ontario government will help 24 newcomers to obtain their A/Z driver’s licence, preparing them for careers in the trucking industry in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

The nearly $400,000 investment in a skills training project 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.

A student truck driver trains in parking maneuvers. (Photo: iStock)

“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,” Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development 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 A/Z driver’s licence, 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.

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