by Heidi Riley
A new apprenticeship program which trains Truck and Transport Mechanics is designed to support industry needs and strengthen the province’s labour force.
The first cohort of students started in January 2022. Holland College is delivering the Block Release training, which includes practical training on specialized equipment for the Truck and Transport, Heavy Duty Equipment, and Agricultural Equipment industries. The program is based at the Queens Country Highway Depot and includes onsite visits to industry shops across PEI.
The program was developed in partnership with the provincial government, Holland College, PEI Trucking Sector Council, and PEI Agricultural Sector Council.
“The agriculture industry identified an increase in demand for skilled agricultural equipment technicians due to retirement and growing technology and training requirements,” says Greg Stavert, chair of the PEI Agriculture Sector Council.
“We’ve posted several jobs for agriculture equipment technicians over the last several years and by offering this training on PEI, it will give Islanders the chance to expand their career opportunities without having to leave PEI.”
“Having on-Island training for our truck and transport mechanics is a great step forward for our industry,” said Brian Oulton, Executive Director of the PEI Trucking Sector Council in a recent news release.
“With shipping demands ever-growing, so too is the need for highly skilled, certified mechanics to keep PEI’s professional drivers rolling safely down the road. By enabling apprentices to train on PEI, this partnership helps the industry resolve a pressing labour challenge.”
The role of Truck and Transport Mechanics
Truck and Transport Mechanics diagnose, repair and service highway buses, trucks, and agricultural equipment. They work for commercial transport vehicle dealers, garages, and service stations, and repair the mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of vehicles. This includes the fuel, brake, steering and suspension, transmission, emission control and exhaust, and cooling and climate control systems.
Truck and transport Mechanics use computerized diagnostic equipment to do preventive maintenance and test vehicle performance. They also work on mechanical and electronic components and do scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes and tune-ups.
“There is a big demand for apprentices,” says Brian. “If you have any kind of mechanical background, and even if you don’t, it could be the right career for you.”
Government is funding the cost of bringing this training to PEI and the tuition for all participants in the program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about apprenticeship on PEI, click here