SASKATOON, (Oct. 8, 2004) — Frustrated by a growing stack of applications, few of which met the companies minimum experience requirements, the recruitment department at Kindersley Transport set about designing a training program to provide equivalent experience for some of those applicants.
Morgan Janzen, a driver recruitment officer, and S.W.A.T. Administrator says there are people who spend good money on driving courses but remain unqualified to work. “If the applicant can pass a road test, and meets all of our other hiring criteria, we can place them in our internal training program, S.W.A.T.” she says.
The S.W.A.T. program (Specialized Work Among Trainers) was built around the Professional Driver Improvement Course (PDIC). The first part of the exercise demanded that the company develop a training program for its prospective trainers, elite company drivers, before they could be turned loose with a new driver.
Following orientation classes, the trainees are teamed with professional driver trainers that have been selected from Kindersley Transport’s current driving force. Like other trainer/student situations, the trainers evaluate the students’ progress over the duration of the program, and give feedback and critique their performance. The training component lasts about three months, whereupon two successful graduates are placed in a team situation to learn how to manage on their own.
“We decided to develop a program internally so that student drivers are trained to our level of certification and so that they’ll meet our needs when they finish,” Janzen says. “The program takes students through any situation they are likely to encounter in real life, like mountain driving, crossing international borders, etc.”
Trainees are paid for their training time, and receive a team driver starting wage when they begin working on their own. If the program proves successful, it will be integrated into other companies within the Siemens Transportation Group.
Inexperienced drivers interested in the industry with zero experience are welcome to apply to participate in the next S.W.A.T. session starting in March of 2005.
Qualifications for applicants include: Valid Class 1/A license; Minimum 21 years of age if crossing the U.S. border; Excellent abstract; Bondable; Desire to learn new skills; and trainable. For more information contact Kindersley Transport’s Human Resources Department at 888-878-9585 or 306-668-5855.
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