More young Islanders will have the chance to earn money and gain experience in the fast-growing trucking industry. The new Team Youth Trucking initiative will create jobs for youth in a variety of trucking-related businesses across the Prince Edward Island.
Modelled off the successful Team Seafood initiative, it is a partnership between government and the PEI Trucking Sector Council where participants learn about the industry for 10 weeks by assisting with things like dispatching and helping drivers and mechanics.
“The trucking industry really does drive the Prince Edward Island economy, transporting Island products to markets far and near,” Premier Wade MacLauchlan said. “Team Youth Trucking will create well-paying summer jobs for our young people – especially in rural communities – and attract workers to an industry that helps extend Prince Edward Island’s reputation as a mighty Island around the world.”
This youth initiative follows recent amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that allow 18-year-olds in the last stages of their graduated drivers’ licence to receive a Class 3 licence to operate a heavy truck. The change allows Islanders aged 18 and older to train to fill in-demand jobs as commercial truck drivers.
“Prince Edward Island’s economy relies on professional drivers for access to export markets, and the trucking industry needs to attract young workers to meet these growing demands,” said PEI Trucking Sector Council Executive Director Brian Oulton. “Team Youth Trucking will be a great way to show young Islanders about the potential for high-paying careers in this industry.”
More than 500 commercial trucks cross the Confederation Bridge each day and Prince Edward Island is home to more than 1,500 professional drivers.
“The trucking sector contributes over $122 million to the provincial GDP so we need to ensure that Island youth know about the great careers in trucking and that they get the experience they need to get good-paying jobs right here at home,” added Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Gallant. “In addition to these new programs, we provide funding support to 50 drivers annually so they can take part in training at JVI Provincial Transportation and Safety Academy.”
Team Youth Trucking is supported by $93,000 in funding from SkillsPEI. Its model initiative – Team Seafood – has expanded to support 250 students in 2017 with a combined federal, provincial and sector investment of over $300,000 in bursaries. In addition, government is exploring options for a similar initiative in the construction sector.
The provincial government’s balanced 2017-18 operating budget includes over $4 million for employment initiatives for youth.
For more information, visit Team Youth Trucking (link is external).