Quebec will continue to license 18-year-old truck drivers

by Nicolas Trepanier

MONTREAL, Que. – A Quebec program that put 18-year-old truck drivers behind the wheel will become a permanent fixture of the province’s truck driver training landscape on Dec. 10. 

The pilot project known as Programme enrichi d’acces a la conduit de vehicules lourds (PEACVL) – the Enriched Access Program Toward the Driving of Heavy Vehicles – allowed trainees under the age of 19 to earn a Class 1 licence, when supported by a related internship program. 

The pilot program trained about 300 young truck drivers. (Photo: CFTC)

It trained 300 young truck drivers between 2016 and 2020, before concluding in April.

A similar pilot project wrapped up in 2014. 

Ten trainees who were participating in the most recent pilot project can complete their internships uninterrupted.

Steps in the coming month will be made to accommodate existing candidates at the CFTR and CFTC truck driver training schools. 

“This is something major, very big news for us,” said Normand Bourque of the Quebec Trucking Association. 

The announcement exceeded the association’s expectations, he added.  

“The program is still very active and alive. We’re not losing momentum, and that’s a very big advantage.” 

“From now on, everything is open,” Bourque said. “There is no longer a maximum and the number of registrations will depend on demand. The centers will adapt.” 

The program was introduced as a measure to help ease a shortage of trained truck drivers in the province, offering a career path in trucking before trainees were lost to other careers.

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