Manitoba offers financial support for farmers’ mandatory entry-level driver training

Manitoba agricultural producers are being offered up to $50,000 to get their employees mandatory entry-level training for their Class 1 license. File / Global News

Manitoba is offering financial support to farmers who need to bring their employees into compliance with new truck driver training rules.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2019, commercial truck drivers in Manitoba must complete mandatory entry-level training (MELT) before they can book their Class 1 licence.

Read more: Mandatory entry-level training for truck drivers now in effect in Manitoba

However the requirement was deferred until March 1, 2021 for the agriculture sector.

The province is offering to cover two-thirds of each employee’s MELT or Professional Truck Driver Training tuition costs to a maximum of $50,000 per employer.

However, the government clarifies funding is negotiated and not guaranteed, and can only be used for training drivers of farm-registered vehicles.

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Read more: Manitoba announces mandatory entry-level training for commercial truck drivers

The grant can be used towards training that takes place between Nov. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021; however applications will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2021 or up until the fund is fully spent, whichever comes first.

Employers will have to pay the driving school and then submit proof of payment to the government to be reimbursed.

Prior to the money being paid out, they’ll need to complete and online privacy notice and consent form, which can be found here.

Those with a valid Manitoba Class 1 licence issued prior to Sept. 1, 2019, don’t need a retest and are grandfathered in.

Read more: Alberta government truck driver training review angers Humboldt crash families

In March, 2019, Manitoba became the fourth province to announce MELT requirements, following the devastating Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Sixteen people were killed when the the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus collided with a semi truck driven by an inexperienced and under-trained driver.

— With files from Heather Yourex-West and Amber McGuckin

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