B.C. funds logging truck driver training in the Okanagan

KELOWNA, B.C. — Officials are looking to boost training for logging truck drivers in B.C.’s Okanagan region.

The province has announced that as many as eight eligible B.C. residents will get employability and occupational skills training to prepare them for jobs as professional logging truck drivers as part of a new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project. Participant recruitment is focused on youth living in the region.

“Projects like this one support people to find new opportunities in a growing and high-demand sector,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction, in a statement. “Graduates of the program will have the skills they need to find good-paying jobs, while employers will have access to qualified employees.”

The province is contributing nearly $325,000 to Okanagan College in Vernon to deliver its professional truck driver training program. Participants will receive 15 weeks of employability, occupational and soft skills training, including Airbrakes and Class 1 Drivers Learners Licence training, to prepare them for the Class 1 licence exam, Mandatory Entry Level Training and BC Forest Safety Council Professional Industry Driver theory and mentorship programs. They will also receive nine weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers and two weeks’ follow-up support to assist in their job search.

“Offering training that meets industry needs is a key component of Okanagan College’s mission to transform lives and communities,” said Danelle Greebe, director of continuing studies and corporate training, Okanagan College. “The CEP project will propel this work forward.”

The project is receiving funding through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC’s CEP. CEP’s investments are targeted towards projects supporting an inclusive economic recovery.

Full-time, group-based learning for this project starts on Monday, Aug. 30. Project activities run until Feb. 25, 2022. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.