GUELPH, Ont. — After more than two and a half years of meetings with industry stakeholders, the Voluntary Apprenticeship Program for Professional Drivers in Ontario is now a reality.
“(Minister of Education and Training, Chris) Bentley and his team should be commended for their efforts. This is a great day for the trucking industry,” said MacKinnon Transport’s Ray Haight, who was also nominated as the industry committee chairman. “The professional driver will finally receive the recognition they deserve. I tip my hat to every stakeholder who committed to the project.”
Minister Bentley announced the program at the Ontario Trucking Association’s convention last fall, but the announcement was preceded by months of meetings at MacKinnon Transport in Guelph, Ont.
The program’s progress had been stalled while it awaited Ministry approval to push back the Grade 12 requirement to a Grade 10 requirement, which would allow participants to enrol in the program without a diploma.
Kim Richardson, president of KRTS, said the wait has been well worth it.
“We needed to make sure there was a provision for people who want to get into the apprenticeship and do not have a Grade 12 diploma. We also needed to ensure this provision would not encourage our youth to leave school prematurely,” he said.
The process for the apprenticeship will take an apprentice up to a year to receive their certificate. There is also a provision for existing drivers to obtain a similar certificate called a Certificate of Competency.
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