RED DEER, Alta. - A number of stakeholders have grabbed the wheel of a new training program for truckers, which is aimed at providing new drivers with more classroom theory and experience behind the w...
RED DEER, Alta. – A number of stakeholders have grabbed the wheel of a new training program for truckers, which is aimed at providing new drivers with more classroom theory and experience behind the wheel. With a boost of more than $900,000 in grant funding and program support from the Alberta government, Red Deer College will implement the Professional Driver Certificate Program.
The two-year pilot program for professional drivers has been in development since September 1997. Development of the certificate program was designed to make jobs in truck transport careers of choice and to meet the increasingly competitive demands of the Alberta trucking industry. This program was developed in collaboration with industry through the Transportation Training and Development Association (TT&DA), and the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC).
“Raising the bar and competitiveness of the professional driver has been an issue over the years,” said Linda Gauthier, executive director of the CTHRC. “It has been redeveloped over the years with input from carriers and training schools. Taking this lead will ensure other provinces move in this direction.”
New technology, added business responsibility and complex work environments have made more entry-level education for new truck drivers a necessity, and the program is responsive to those factors.
“Government is committed to managing growth pressures and one way to do that is supporting access to training opportunities which address labour shortages,” said Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. “Implementing this pilot program is an important step in examining the effectiveness of one program model to address the transportation industry’s forecasted demand for more trained truck drivers in Alberta.”
Graduates will have necessary competencies, skills and experience to successfully begin a professional truck driving career and take advantage of new opportunities in the trucking and transportation industry.
“The Alberta trucking industry has worked long and hard to have professional truck driving recognized as a highly skilled and demanding occupation,” said Luke Ouellette, Minister of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation. “Government and industry have set new standards for training and development of drivers, which will attract and phase in new drivers, and supports the provincial Traffic Safety Plan to help reduce the number of collisions on Alberta roads.”
The Professional Driver Certificate program aims to add value to the current Class 1 licence by recognizing the advanced training and experience with a Professional Driver endorsement issued by government. The first students will begin in June 2007, completing their training in December 2007.
Students of the program will undergo eight weeks of classroom and in-cab training, a six-week coached practicum, followed by seven to 15 weeks of paid co-op work experience. Upon completion of the program graduates will receive a Red Deer College Certificate, a CTHRC Certificate and an Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation Professional Driver Licence endorsement on their Class 1 licence.
“This is a province-wide industry-driven program run in conjunction with the private driving schools,” explained Emmett Callaghan, owner of CCA Truck Driver Training.
This unique program is offered in partnership with Cameron Driver Education in Red Deer, CCA Truck Driver Training in Calgary, SK Driver Training in Lethbridge, Cameron Driver Education in Edmonton, and Capilano Truck Driver Training in Edmonton, allowing Albertans across the province to take advantage of it.