|Veronica538 at work as truckdriver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
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 stands for “Immigrant Driver Readiness – Industry Validation and Engagement,” and it reviews the professiona lexperience of drivers who are new to Canada, to provide them with a verified report on their readiness for employmentin 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 Governmentof Canada and the Province of BritishColumbia.”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,” says 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 currentlyin 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 motorcarriers interested in the pilot and looking for drivers to hire