Tamara Crabbe, a graduate of Douglas College’s essential skills driver training program, said she is thankful for the training she received to become a commercial truck driver. Through new government funding, 18 women and 11 newcomers to Canada will receive this training. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Province commits $765K to commercial driver training

Funding will allow 18 women and 11 newcomers to Canada to earn their Class 1 licences

March 19 was a day that changed Tamara Crabbe’s life.

A high school drop-out who had worked in construction for 10 years, it was on this day that she started a commercial driving program at Douglas College.

“I was sick of watching time pass by and not being happy doing what I was doing,” she said.

“It was time to make my future brighter. To be given this opportunity is not something I have taken lightly. Doing this course has given me the chance to have a financially stable future, and to enjoy the career that I am immersed in.”

Crabbe is one of 18 women in the YWCA Changing Gears program to benefit from this training, thanks to funding from the province.

On June 7, Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guilford, announced that the province is committing $764,800 through the Community and Employer Partnerships program for 29 people — including 18 women and 11 newcomers to Canada — to go through the essential skills driver training at Douglas College to earn their Class 1 licences.

More than 14,000 job openings in trucking are expected in the next 10 years, along with 4,000 for transit drivers.

“This truly is an emerging field,” said Begg, who made the announcement at Valley Driving School in Langley.

“It’s a growing industry, one that can provide each of you with many opportunities. While these two projects offer the industry qualified staff, they also help to create more diversity in the sector, and that’s important … Diversity is evident and it is going to make the industry much stronger.”

Women currently represent 3 per cent of truck drivers in Canada, but these numbers are starting to increase, added Tina Hurd, program manager for YWCA Metro Vancouver, which provides training for women to enter male-dominated industries.

“We’re women, this is barrier going into the industry — it’s real, it’s happening,” she said. “And the women are facing stereotypes, so they’re gender based … Dealing with their confidence from their employers or potential employers, from their co-workers, friends, family — they don’t have that encouragement that they necessarily need to get in the industry. And that’s why our program is great, because it provides that opportunity for women.”



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

COMMUTER ALERT: Motorcycle crash on major thoroughfare sends one to hospital

Mounties are still on scene of an afternoon accident at 64th Avenue and 168th Street.

Man facing seven charges after alleged threats at Surrey restaurant

Surrey RCMP say incident at Whalley business was ‘very traumatic’ for customers and employees

Witchazel rocks again with CD of ‘Lost Tapes’ from band’s ’80s glory days

Surrey bar a stage for ‘Cancer Killer Rock Party’ on Aug. 30

Record turnout for Five Corners concert in White Rock

Abba/Elton John/Billy Joel salute attracts an estimated 4,500 people

Delta police secure 94 charges in dial-a-dope bust

Seven people with ties to the Red Scorpion gang are facing drug and firearm charges

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read