A Drive for Opportunity: CHET’s Partnership with the Immigrants Working Centre

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CHET and its parent company, Musket Transport Ltd., believe in the power of commercial driver’s training to provide a financially secure, rewarding career. CHET’s diverse student body reflects just how many different groups of people have been attracted to the benefits of a career in transportation.

One group of individuals who stand to benefit from these rewards is immigrants and refugees. Many come to Canada without the language and job training necessary to secure a well-paying position, making the transition to a new life very difficult. CHET wanted to play a part in bridging the gap, helping such individuals gain the skills and training necessary to find well-paying, meaningful employment so that they can support themselves and their families.

Because many commercial truck drivers are nearing retirement, an increasing number of openings in this industry are becoming available. The average truck driver can earn between $60,000 to $65,000 annually, while top tractor-trailer drivers can expect to earn $80,000+ each year. This makes commercial truck driving a terrific choice for immigrants and refugees seeking secure employment.

In Spring of 2018, CHET was invited by the City of Hamilton to develop a relationship with the Immigrants Working Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, “an equality seeking, anti-racist, charitable organization dedicated to the social, political and economic inclusion of refugee and immigrants in a just and supporting Canadian society.”

Together, CHET and the IWC developed a focused training program that enables IWC clients to obtain their AZ license in preparation for a career in commercial transportation. The City of Hamilton was initially approached by the IWC to help find a group of refugees – mainly from Syria – meaningful employment. Having already established a relationship with the driving school, the city’s Employment and Social Services connected IWC with CHET. CHET provided IWC with its texts and curriculum so that IWC staff could provide immigrants and refugees with “the basics”, ensuring they were well prepared with the language and knowledge necessary to achieve success upon entering CHET’s training program. These “basics” include the English words for different truck parts and how to use a logbook.

“Our Centre is committed to enabling refugees and immigrants to discover and build their new futures through skills development and settlement support,” explains Uzma Qureshi, Director of Employment Services at IWC.

“IWC is a leader in providing settlement services in Hamilton, welcoming new Canadians and supporting their full social, civic and economic participation in their new city. For over 30 years, IWC has provided a broad range of settlement services to newcomers to Canada. We are Hamilton’s only dedicated settlement service organization, delivering in-person and online services in 16 languages at four locations in Hamilton,” Qureshi adds.

IWC helps new immigrants and refugees improve their English skills, develop job search skills and connect them with the resources and opportunities they need to re-build meaningful lives in Canada. The cost of training is covered by the municipality and other advocacy groups dedicated to empowering refugees.

Impressed by the organization’s mission and dedication to empowering newcomers to build autonomy, CHET was eager to find a way to play a part and developed a partnership with IWC. Encouragingly, the partnership has been fruitful.

The level of screening and training support provided by IWC before newcomers begin their AZ driving lessons has helped ensure the success of trainees at CHET. When students come to Musket, they bring with them enthusiasm, dedication and a genuine desire to learn, grow and succeed. Because of the “pre-training”, they receive at IWC, students also come adequately prepared for the complexity of commercial driver training and a versed with some of the terminology necessary to succeed in the program.

“I have a background in trucking, my family owned a trucking business in Iraq. When I came to Canada, IWC first contacted me about a training prospect at CHET. They saw my background and matched me up with the right career opportunity. I am very happy with CHET!”

Siver K.

 

A key benefit of receiving training a CHET is that its parent company Musket Transport Ltd. offers employment to many of CHET’s successful graduates. In fact, approximately 85% of CHET graduates go on to work for Musket. Musket drivers benefit from flexible scheduling, the option of shorter routes that are conducive to work-life balance, competitive benefits, growth opportunities, continuing education and its referral bonus program.

Because of CHET’s proximity to many urban centers, students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities – including different immigrant and refugee groups – have turned to our driving school for high-quality training. Contracts with the City of Toronto, Region of Peel and City of Hamilton allow our team the opportunity to support refugees in finding lucrative, satisfying careers in their new home country. It is incredibly rewarding to play a part in helping refugees assimilate and support their families with pride.

To learn more about CHET and its partnership with IWC, contact Philip Fletcher Operations Manager, CHET at Philip.Fletcher@musket.ca

2018-07-30T15:43:03+00:00