The McGuinty government has announced a new, voluntary apprenticeship for the trade of tractor-trailer commercial driver. This designation as new trade will support the trucking industry’s commitment to training and growth and provide skilled drivers for employers.

Apprentices will participate in about 12 weeks of training with a mentor and 40 weeks of on-the-job training. During their training, apprentices will learn to:

  • Plan trips and inspect equipment
  • Safely handle and secure cargo
  • Conduct routine vehicle checks and report problems
  • Prepare documentation including bills of lading, border crossing and custom forms.

Participants will also learn other critical skills, such as developing a deeper understanding of the life-style adjustments of long-distance driving, application of appropriate laws, customer service, safety regulations and the principles of the trucking business.

To be eligible for training, apprentices will need a valid Ontario AZ license or equivalent. The new voluntary trade will be regulated under the Apprenticeship and Certification Act. Employers will be ready to accept apprentices early in 2006.

The new program has been under development since early 2004. It was created through the support of the Ontario Trucking Association, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Teamsters Canada, MacKinnon Transport, KRTS Transportation Specialists, and Fanshawe College with support from Canpar, Lodwick, OK Transport, Spring Creek Carriers, Trendway Transportation, TST Truckload Express, XTL, Liberty Linehaul, Kurtz Trucking, Yanke Group, the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada, Cowan Insurance Brokers, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, I Truck Assist, Career Shift, the Advisory Council for Truck Safety and the Canadian Trucking Human Resource Council.