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INDUSTRY PULSE: Heavy duty mechanic apprenticeships losing ground

OTTAWA, Ont. -- It has long been suspected but now there is concrete evidence that trucking is losing the battle ag...


OTTAWA, Ont. — It has long been suspected but now there is concrete evidence that trucking is losing the battle against other industries to attract skilled mechanics.

Registration in apprenticeship training programs has grown considerably from 1996 to 2002 across all industries, according to a report released this morning by Statistics Canada. Enrolment in motor vehicle and heavy equipment apprenticeships has also grown during this period from 35,650 participants in 1996 to 46,130 in 2002 but the share of total apprenticeships this comprises is down.

Back in 1996 motor vehicle and heavy equipment apprenticeships made up 21.4 per cent of all apprenticeships. By 2002 this declined to 19.7 per cent, the government statistical watchdog’s report indicates.

It should also be noted that only a portion of those entering apprenticeship training actually complete it. Only 3,830 of the 46,130 that entered motor vehicle and heavy equipment apprenticeship training in 2002 completed the requirements of their training. That was a 13.6 per cent drop from the previous year.

Overall, a total of 234,460 people were registered in some form of training program in 2002, a 40.8 per cent increase from 1996. The biggest annual enrolment increase is occurring in the building construction trades group, which has rebounded substantially since 1997.


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