MARKHAM, Ont. – Shell Canada and the Heavy Duty Distributor Council (HDDC) have announced they are launching a Heavy Duty Technician Scholarship which will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in a transport-related technical program.
Six students will each receive regional scholarships of $1,000 under the new program – the first of its kind in Canada.
The program will be launched in September and will target students enrolled in their second year of a transport-related program in a CAMPE institution.
Recipients will be chosen based on academic merit, financial need and desire to contribute to the future of the industry, Owen McManamon of Shell Canada announced at the recent HDDC annual conference.
“We believe we have a responsibility to help proactively address one of the key issues facing the industry today – the lack of skilled technical workers,” he told HDDC delegates during their banquet. “It’s a topic that’s on everyone’s radar screen since it has such a profound effect on fleet company performance and it can have significant economic consequence if not addressed.”
McManamon pointed out that skilled technicians will be retiring in record numbers over the coming years and that Canada has one of the most serious shortages of technical workers around the world. He stressed the industry must reach out to young people enrolled in technical schools.
“The greatest contributors to the future growth of road transport are students currently enrolled in technician programs that are considering a career in transport,” he said. “Many opportunities are presented to them when they’re in these technical colleges. At this stage, it’s critical for fleet companies, vendors, manufacturers and industry associations to be involved in educating these students of the many exciting opportunities involved in working in the transport industry.”
McManamon suggested technical programs are evolving towards longer, more in-depth training initiatives of two to five years and many students will require help funding their education.
“With the rising costs of tuition and the variable expenses associated with technical programs, like equipment, books, tools, etc. it’s becoming increasingly difficult for students to afford these types of programs and get the proper training,” McManamon said.
Under the program, HDDC will present winning candidates with the scholarships.
For more information on the Heavy Duty Technician Scholarship, visit: www.shell.ca/transport.
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