Truckers geared to take advantage of IDRIVE

Program is designed to get immigrant truckers ready for the road

The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) has developed a new skills assessment tool called IDRIVE and is looking for 25 recent immigrants with professional truck-driving experience to participate in a pilot test to be scheduled in November or December 2013.

BCTA is working with BC motor carriers to find ways to address a shortage of professional drivers that could run as high as 33,000 across Canada by 2020, according to a Conference Board of Canada study.

“Immigrants to Canada are a valuable source of labour for the industry but may need help representing their skills to employers here,” says Louise Yako, BCTA President & CEO. “And BC employers need to know how driving experience from outside Canada rates in BC, where regulations, equipment, and geography may be quite different.”

To assist, BCTA has partnered with the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table to develop a truck driver skill and experience assessment tool with input from motor carriers. IDRIVE  (Immigrant Driver Readiness – Industry Validation and Engagement) reviews the professional experience of drivers who are new to Canada, to provide them with a verified report on their readiness for employment in BC. IDRIVE tests industry knowledge, essential skills, employability characteristics (including customer service skills) and driving skills.

IDRIVE is made possible by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. Funding is provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

“We are pleased to support the BCTA’s immigrant driver readiness tool that will help employers understand and benefit from the experience and skills of BC’s immigrant labour pool,” said Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC.

IDRIVE is now ready for a pilot test, and BCTA invites 25 immigrant drivers to participate, to make sure that both drivers and trucking industry employers can depend on its results. Assessments can take place throughout the province depending on where drivers are located.

Participants must not be employed currently in the trucking industry, but must live in BC and have a BC Class 1 commercial driver’s licence – or be willing to obtain one within the timeframe of the pilot project, which includes a road test. They must have at least one year of professional driving experience, here or in another country, read and write basic English, and be eligible to work in Canada, among a few other requirements.

In return, participants receive a copy of their IDRIVE assessment, and BCTA will work to connect them with motor carriers interested in the pilot and looking for drivers to hire.

“Professional truck drivers keep our economy moving and tools like IDRIVE will help ensure we have the skilled drivers to keep the industry strong, and keep goods moving through B.C. and the rest of Canada,” said Todd Stone,  provincial Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Congratulations to BCTA and its partners for this innovative idea.”

The deadline for IDRIVE applications is November 8, 2013. Complete details and an IDRIVE application form are available at www.bctrucking.com.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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