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More forestry jobs in British Columbia

Dec. 23, 2016 – A select group of British Columbians are being trained to become log truck operators.

The B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is funding the $650,000 initiative in collaboration with the federal government.

According to a government statement, “The skills training project supports B.C.’s regional labour-market demands and provides opportunities to youth, women, Aboriginal people, immigrants and other eligible participants to receive training, as well as industry-recognized certificates or credentials.”

The ministry says up to 52 people will receive training as a result of this partnership, called the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement.

Curriculum for the log truck operator training was developed by the BC Forest Safety Council, with input from forest sector stakeholders, according to the ministry statement.

“Forestry is a key economic sector in our province, generating thousands of jobs for British Columbians. I’m happy to hear that part of the professional log truck driver training is being delivered in our community of Fort St. James,” says MLA for Nechako Lakes, John Rustad.

“This program will not only helps forestry employers get the skilled log truck operators they need for their operations, but it also gives job seekers the skills they need to drive log trucks, load and unload safely in the future. This in turn keeps our roads safe for other drivers as well,” Rustad says.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond says British Columbia is expecting one million job openings by 2025 as a result of both economic growth and retirements.

“Taylor Professional Driving, under O’Brien Training, is pleased to participate in the Professional Log Truck Operator program… Together we are providing valuable training to teach drivers to deliver logs in as professional and safe a manner as possible,” says general manager of O’Brien Training, Dardo Krueger.

In addition to forestry, job training is also being offered in the culinary industry to become a cook.

Training for both industries is being provided for British Columbians in Prince George, Fort St. James, and Kelowna.