NORTH BAY, ONTARIO (December 12, 2016) – The first cohort of Canadore College’s pre-apprenticeship truck and coach technician program celebrated their graduation last Saturday.

A partnership with Wikwemikong Unceded Territory and funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, the program was designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to inspect, repair and maintain commercial trucks, emergency vehicles, buses, road transport vehicles as well as perform work on structural, mechanical, electrical and electronic vehicular systems.

“We are so proud of our first graduating class,” said Judy Manitowabi, manager of community based and contract training in Canadore College’s First Peoples’ Centre. “Over half of the graduates have already secured full-time employment and others have offers pending.”

Manitowabi said the program was uniquely created to meet community need, as identified by the Wii-ni N’guch-tood Employment and Training in Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ont.

Students undertook academic upgrading in math, safety certifications and career development, level 1 apprenticeship theory and practical lab, welding trade exposure and 8 weeks of industry placements. Manitowabi says that one of the program’s greatest benefits is the fact that pre-apprentices will graduate with level 1 training, eliminating the need for employer release time.

Over 83 per cent of the participants lived outside of North Bay, mostly in First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island, and graduates received commercial vehicle and equipment apprenticeship level 1 (truck and coach technician) and commercial vehicle and equipment pre-apprenticeship program (truck and coach technician) certificates.

The pre-apprenticeship program ran from April – November 2016.