The Province, along with YWCA Metro Vancouver, Valley Driving School, and six Lower Mainland trucking employers have joined forces to make sure that more women have the opportunity to train for a career in B.C.’s trucking industry.
The Province is providing $589,379 to train up to 24 unemployed female job-seekers in the Lower Mainland as commercial Class 1 truck drivers through the YWCA Metro Vancouver’s Changing Gears: Women in Trucking program.
The YWCA Metro Vancouver is providing 23 weeks of training and on-the-job work experience through two intakes of eight to 12 women each. During the Changing Gears program, participants will learn essential skills in a classroom setting before being trained by Valley Driving School instructors for their Class 1 driver’s licence. They will also work with local employers to gain hands-on experience in the Lower Mainland trucking industry and leave the program with new skills and job prospects.
Employers who have partnered with the Changing Gears program include Challenger, Progressive Waste Solutions, Ken Johnson Trucking, Synergy Trucking, Sysco, and VanKam Freightways.
This is the second iteration of the government-funded program. The first iteration took place in 2015, funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training for nearly $400,000, with 24 participants completing the program. This Changing Gears program is already through its first intake of nine participants, with six having already found jobs after completing the program in March 2016. Another nine participants are currently in the program.
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,500 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 270 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“As British Columbia’s economy continues to grow, we need to make sure both men and women are trained and ready to fill in-demand positions. By bringing multiple partners together through the ministry’s Community and Employer Partnerships program, British Columbians who need extra support to join the province’s work force are receiving the training they need to find a sustainable career and support their families.”
Mary Polak, MLA for Langley –
“This is a fantastic opportunity for women in the Lower Mainland. This training will give them the chance to find work in the transportation industry that is so vital to the province of British Columbia.”
Rich Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove –
“When we can provide opportunities like this one for job-seeking women to be trained in an inclusive environment and get valuable work experience, it is a win-win situation for the participants and for the trucking industry. I’m happy to see that many of the participants have already used this opportunity to find a job, and that many more will do the same.”
Tina Hurd, program manager, YWCA Metro Vancouver –
“The Changing Gears program has changed our participants’ lives. It has boosted their self-confidence and esteem and given them the opportunity to acquire a lifelong career in an industry they’ve always wanted to work in.”
Richard Stockle, BC safety supervisor, Challenger Transportation, Warehousing and Logistics –
“Challenger prides itself on actively employing female drivers, both experienced and also newly trained graduates that will go through our internal training program and ultimately progress to being a professional truck driver. Our association with Changing Gears helps us as a company achieve our goal to support women coming into the transportation industry through their extensive training designed to give them the best start possible and ultimately a job with a leading company, such as Challenger.”
Shelda, project participant –
“I have acquired incredible skills, great confidence and a bucketful of knowledge. This program taught me a lot of things. I am thankful that I was able to join this program.”
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a leading role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnerships and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once a connection between the client and a suitable project has been made, the WorkBC centre continues to provide financial support and services to ensure the client’s success.
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- Social Innovation
- Those eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships include businesses, non-profit organizations, Crown corporations, municipalities, agencies or territorial governments, First Nation bands/tribal councils, and public health and educational institutions.
For a photo: https://flic.kr/p/TBFCSr
Find out more about the Vancouver YWCA’s Women in Trucking program: https://ywcavan.org/node/95/ywca-changing-gears
Learn more about the Vancouver YWCA: https://ywcavan.org/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
Scott McKenzieMedia Relations
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation