With the ever-growing shortage of Class 1 drivers the Alberta government is implementing the second phase of the ‘Driving Back To Work (DBTW) grant program; which they claim will help strengthen the workforce by providing unemployed Albertans an opportunity to start careers as commercial truck drivers. It is also meant to reduce the expected 12 per cent shortage of commercial drivers forecasted by 2023, which could put the province’s supply chain at risk.
“We have projected that we’re going to have quite the shortage in qualified truck drivers in the next couple of years,” stated Alberta Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney.
The two-year program which started in 2020, and is part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan with funding totaling $5 million to provide 500 unemployed Albertans with the opportunity to obtain their Class 1 driver’s by obtaining their Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program to earn their Class 1 licence.
“Driving Back to Work has proven to be successful in getting Albertans back into the workforce. Anybody who wants to be a commercial driver has to pay quite a significant amount of money to get through the driving program and we know that there’s lots of unemployed Albertans out there who would potentially love to have a career as a commercial driver,” commented Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney.
Minister of Labour and Immigration Tyler Shandro says that by providing a clear path to earn a Class 1 licence will help get Albertans good-paying stable jobs and will address the labour shortages they expect in the trucking industry.
The DBTW is administered by third-party contractors, driver training schools and is financially supported by the Canadian government and government of Alberta. If you would like to find more information or if you are interested in applying for funding you can go to alberta.ca/driving-back-to-work-grant-program.aspx.