Participants in the Canadian truck driver employment programme go through an extensive training process.
Once a Jamaican driver receives a conditional job offer from a Canadian employer, Mountain Transport Institute (MTI) sends a Canadian instructor to Jamaica to conduct a driver evaluation. The experienced Jamaican trailer driver will attend a two-hour orientation session with an MTI instructor to learn about how Canadian employers expect their vehicles to be operated. At the end of the session, conducted at Brown's Town Community College, the drivers schedule a two-hour driving evaluation appointment with the instructor.
Once all the evaluations are completed, another four-hour classroom training session is provided to update the drivers on ways they can improve their operational skills and be more efficient. The drivers also learn about some of the additional requirements for professional drivers in Canada, such as the completion of pre-trip inspections and log books. Drivers are provided with Canadian textbooks to further study and prepare for their Canadian driving career.
On a subsequent trip to Jamaica by the MTI instructor there is another four-hour training session as well as a final written exam to ensure the trailer drivers have learnt the required Canadian rules and regulations.
Drivers who obtain their work permits and travel to Canada spend approximately 10 days at the MTI facility in Castlegar, British Columbia, completing government exams (written and driving) as well as medicals and meeting other government requirements prior to leaving for their employer.
- Byron Buckley