New pilot for Women Shifting Gears Program

Today, the Government Saskatchewan announced Women Shifting Gears, a new pilot program for women who want training to become transport drivers.

The program is a partnership between the Saskatoon YWCA, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Immigration and Career Training.

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“Transport truck drivers are an in-demand occupation in Saskatchewan, and an added bonus to this program is that it will help diversify our labour force,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “It’s an exciting new project that will bring opportunities in a non-traditional occupation to benefit individuals, the province’s thriving trucking industry and communities.”

Ten women will go into the program which will operate in three phases.  Phase one is nine weeks of pre-employment training at the Saskatoon YWCA.  In the second phase, participants will be matched up to an employer by the STA for a three-week work placement.  It is expected that following phase two, drivers will receive either a work offer or a conditional offer which will lead to phase three.  In phase three, the trainees will receive 1A Driver Training through the Mandatory Entry Level Training program for Level 1A Drivers.

“The YWCA Saskatoon has a long history of removing barriers for women and that’s why we’re so pleased to be working with the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Trucking Association to offer women more opportunity in the workplace,” Saskatoon YWCA CEO Cara Bahr said.  “We believe that a strong economy is dependent on innovation and partnership, this a great example of both.”

“We are excited to form a strong working partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan and the YWCA of Saskatoon,” STA Executive Director Susan Ewart said.  “We firmly believe that Women Shifting Gears will be a beneficial program for our industry and will help develop and train safety-minded women looking to start a meaningful career as a professional driver.”

The cost to the province will include $60,000 for pre-employment training from the Workforce Development budget and up to $100,000 from the Canada Saskatchewan Job Grant for 1A Truck Driver Training.

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