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N.B. to update driver training

MONCTON, N.B. - The province of New Brunswick may be getting set to replace its six-week truck driver-training program with a new, 12-week system."We are now on the threshold of getting this program a...


WHEEL TIME: More training time would mean better rookie truckers.(File photo)
WHEEL TIME: More training time would mean better rookie truckers.(File photo)

MONCTON, N.B. – The province of New Brunswick may be getting set to replace its six-week truck driver-training program with a new, 12-week system.

“We are now on the threshold of getting this program adopted,” Boyd told Truck News in a telephone interview from his car as he drove to Truro, N.S.

He added that a meeting with government in mid November would go a long way in determining the province’s stance on the APTA’s initiative.

“I can tell you that at this juncture everything looks extremely positive, that that is going to be the case,” he said.

He added, however, “nothing is done until you see the ink dry on the paper, and the paper is accepted by everybody. That’s basically where its at.”

As the APTA emphasized in a story in the Fall 2000 issue of its magazine, Atlantic Trucking, which was distributed at the association’s 50th Annual Convention in Moncton, N.B., Oct. 25-28, “the Province of New Brunswick has agreed to become financially involved with the students who plan on attending the 12-week program, but those wishing to take a six-week program will have to foot the bill themselves.”

But that published endorsement might have been a little premature.

“What I can say from our point of view is that our minister is waiting for a report from the committee that was set up to study training in the truck driving industry,” said Shawn Hearn, a spokesman for New Brunswick’s department of training and employment development.

The APTA’s proposed 12-week program is modeled after Nova Scotia’s system, in effect since 1995, Boyd said. The New Brunswick version will feature four components, including a screening process to gauge attitudes and aptitudes, up to 350 hours of hands-on driving, and an internship program.

“So, we think it’s not only good for industry, it’s also good for governments who are investing money in retraining people for the required labour market. We think its good for the training schools in that the candidates that are coming out find adequate and reasonable employment,” he said.

“Therefore, it’s speaking well of in the program that its being managed by all the stakeholders to be a win-win situation.” n


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