MLA Mark Smith. File photo.

MLA Mark Smith. File photo.

MLA Mark Smith: MELT changes

‘Alberta’s government is making big changes to boost Alberta trucking jobs.’

Alberta is an exporting province, but today it is harder to hire truckers to get our goods to market. Alberta is expected to have a shortage of 3,600 commercial truck drivers by 2023. Without the freight industry to feed our cities and supply the world with our natural resources and manufactured products, our economy will suffer.

We’ve been listening closely to our farmers, foresters, roughnecks, and freight truckers. They’ve told us that cost is the biggest barrier to hiring Albertans to good-paying trucking jobs. The Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) required to get a Class 1 commercial license is necessary to keep Albertans safe on the road. However the average cost of $8,900 in Alberta for the 113 hour course is also prohibitive for many.

That’s why Alberta’s government is making big changes to boost Alberta trucking jobs.

We’re funding the Driving Back to Work grant program to make MELT more affordable. The grant will cover 90 per cent of the training costs for 300 unemployed Albertans.

We want to make sure that applicants for the grant are ready, willing, and able to participate. By having applicants still responsible for a portion of the required costs, we will ensure those who receive the funding are committed to this training.

We’ve also launched the Experience and Equivalency program to reduce the time it takes for Class 3 drivers to upgrade to a Class 1 license. Class 3 drivers with a minimum of two years of experience will have the opportunity to take a 40-hour Class 1 training upgrade instead of the full 113-hour Class 1 MELT. This recognizes the skills many Class 3 drivers have, particularly in our agriculture industry.

Neither of these changes affect the high training and safety standards set out by MELT in order to keep Alberta’s roads safe. All applicants will still be required to pass the Class 1 MELT knowledge and road test to obtain their Class 1 commercial license.

By improving access to trucking jobs, Albertans can get back to work. We will remain focused on Alberta’s economic recovery.

-Mark Smith, MLA

Drayton Valley-Devon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City of Wetaskiwin’s active COVID-19 cases drop below 100

Active COVID-19 cases in the City of Wetaskiwin are dropping.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Alberta eases some COVID-19 restrictions

Salons, barbershops and other personal and wellness services will be open by appointment only

Chelsey Rain. Photo provided by Wetaskiwin RCMP.
Wetaskiwin RCMP trying to locate missing woman

23-year-old Chelsey Rain has been missing since New Years Day.

City of Wetaskiwin still seeking members for Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Photo/ City of Wetaskiwin.
City of Wetaskiwin still seeking members for Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Goals of Task Force include decreasing hate crimes and discrimination in the community.

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Kenney kicks Pat Rehn out of UCP caucus after municipal complaints

Rehn had been criticized by municipal leaders in his constituency

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID clarity: Feds say 42-day gap for 2-dose vaccines OK as provinces race to immunity

‘Realities on the ground’ means that provinces, territories will have difficult choices to make

Most Read