The Entry Level Professional Truck Driver Training Program through Manitoba Public Insurance has ended.
Spokesperson Brian Smiley says the three-year pilot program, which began in 2008, lasted nine years and covered $8,400 of tuition for each qualifying student.
"Obviously you want drivers out on the road who are fully competent and confident in their driving abilities. Having said that, the program did serve a very useful purpose, but in consultation and discussions with the Manitoba Trucking Association, it was decided that Manitoba Public Insurance would move in a different direction."
Tony Falk is the operations manager for United Driver Training in Steinbach and says it's unfortunate the MPI funding option is no longer available, however, there are other funding opportunities available for students to take advantage of.
"So, students can still get funded through Manitoba Training Employment Services as well as some people are funded through WCB or through the Manitoba Metis Federation. We also help students find different financial institutions where they have been able to make a loan and make an investment in their career."
Falk adds trucking continues to be a vibrant, high-demand industry and it's been predicted that in 2026 Manitoba will have a shortage of 10,000 drivers.
Smiley says going forward there has not been another program put in place, but talks are continuing with the Manitoba Trucking Association. He adds no new applications are being accepted at this time, however, those who have received a letter of acceptance and located a sponsor will still receive funding.