Ontario Supporting Careers in the Transportation Sector
Funding for skills training will fill in-demand jobs in Waterloo Region
April 8, 2021
WATERLOO — The Ontario government is investing $600,000 in a skills training project in the Waterloo region to prepare 30 women and individuals from underrepresented groups for careers in the trucking industry. This program will provide people with more opportunities to find meaningful, well-paying jobs and address labour shortages in the region’s trucking sector.
Details were provided today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Women and Children’s Issues, Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler, and Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga.
“Our government is taking deliberate steps to make sure anyone who wants to work can get the training they need to establish rewarding careers right now,” said Minister McNaughton. “This project will connect women, young people, Indigenous people and underrepresented groups with free and in-demand training to become licensed truck drivers in the Waterloo region. This is just one example of our commitment to support essential services in the province.”
The fourteen-week training, organized by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, focuses on improving the participants’ soft and technical skills. Participants will obtain their AZ drivers license, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario, as well as a certificate of completion that demonstrates to employers one has met training requirements. Childcare services and supports will also be provided for eligible program participants.
The first cohort will begin training on May 3, 2021. Those who are interested in applying for future rounds of training can contact the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.
“We are determined that women will not be left behind in Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Our government is supporting girls and women to help them find jobs and careers where they can achieve success and support their families. The trucking sector has many of those jobs, and I hope today’s announcement will inspire more women and underrepresented Ontarians to consider careers in this important sector.”
To help workers get the training they need, the government is also proposing the new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit. This would be a temporary, refundable Personal Income Tax credit that would deliver support for 2021. The credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, or about $1,100 on average.
Protecting the economy and supporting families, workers and employers is part of the government’s 2021 Budget. This includes 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, including women, underrepresented groups, Indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities. These measures will help workers recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 and develop the in-demand skills needed for the future.
- In 2019, there was an estimated number of 6,300 women who worked as transport truck drivers in Ontario (Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey).
- Given the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be a combination of primarily virtual and in-person. Training will include safety components for on-the-road transport including delivery/pick-up sites and cross-border precautions during COVID-19.
- Online job postings for truck drivers in Ontario suggest that the demand in recent months has returned to pre-COVID levels.
- The program is one of 50 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across the province dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in hospitality and tourism; hospitality and food; steel; mining; construction; manufacturing; warehousing; transportation; healthcare; social assistance; PSW; early childhood education; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; arboriculture; landscape and horticulture; cannabis; financial services; and accessible digital media transportation sectors.
“Careers in the transportation sector are important, in-demand jobs that help move our essential sectors and support our Province’s economy. This project will allow women and other underrepresented groups to grow their skills, get connected to local employers and keep Ontario moving.”
– Vijay Thanigasalam
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation
“Employers in the Waterloo Region have been clear that the transportation sector faces significant labour shortages for truck drivers. I am proud that our government is addressing this need by supporting women and other job seekers facing barriers who want to enter the field.”
– Amy Fee
MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler
“By supporting projects like this, we are helping underrepresented groups, including women, get the training and knowledge they need to become truck drivers. This partnership with local employers and organizations like the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington and Dufferin and the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada provides an excellent opportunity for job seekers in Waterloo Region.”
– Mike Harris
MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga
“Trucking companies in the Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin area have been seeking transport truck drivers to help them grow and develop their businesses. This program will provide employers with candidates who will meet industry requirements and have the skills and mindset to excel in their companies. We are looking to support those who are out of work to prepare for re-employment, and help them secure that next opportunity.”
– Charlene Hofbauer
Executive Director of the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin
“This is an exciting project that will help address the skilled labour shortage the trucking industry is facing now for professional truck drivers. The model’s main goal is full-time employment for all successful participants. With the various stakeholders at the table, including the trucking companies, this program promises to provide excellent opportunities to the program graduates. The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada is a proud partner of this unique initiative.”
– Shelley Uvanile-Hesch
CEO of Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada
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