The Driving Back to Work grant program will cover up to 90 per cent of the cost of Mandatory Entry-Level Training to help eligible unemployed Albertans get their Class 1 commercial truck driver’s licence and pursue careers as professional truck drivers.

“We’ve heard the trucking industry’s concerns on driver shortages and costs loud and clear. The Driving Back to Work grant successfully funded commercial driver training for 300 Albertans last year. It was so successful that in Budget 2021 we’re spending $5 million more so another 500 Albertans can start new careers with well-paid trucking jobs.”

Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation

“Alberta’s government is providing an additional $5 million to help train commercial Class 1 drivers and protect livelihoods. This grant will cover about 90 per cent of the Mandatory Entry-Level Training program and will help get hundreds of Albertans back to work.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

“Commercial trucking is an essential service. Our industries are facing driver shortages at a time when demand is rising and technology is rapidly changing how we operate. Reducing barriers to entry for new commercial drivers, and helping transition experienced workers into our industry, helps grow Alberta's economy. Retraining commitments like this one reassure Albertans, and investors, that our province is committed to building a resilient supply chain and creating the jobs we need to keep goods moving to market safely and efficiently.”

Jude Groves, board chair, Alberta Motor Transport Association, and director, Safety & Training, Rosenau Transport Ltd.

“I have just completed the Driving Back to Work grant program. Now I have the skills I need to get a job driving a truck. It was great the Alberta government initiated this program to help unemployed Albertans.”

Roch Boisvert, Driving Back to Work grant program recipient

Alberta’s government also launched the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT Training Program in November 2020 to help Class 3 drivers upgrade their skills.

Quick facts

  • Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) is a required training program for new Class 1 (tractor-trailer) and Class 2 (bus) drivers taught at driver training schools and organizations across Alberta.
  • It includes mandatory, standardized driver training curriculums with set hours for in-class, in-yard and in-vehicle training.
  • The Driving Back to Work grant was originally announced in November 2020 with $3 million in funding to help 300 unemployed Albertans earn their Class 1 licence.
  • The grant will cover the estimated $8,900, or about 90 per cent, of the cost of the Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program.
  • Unemployed Albertans must qualify for employment insurance and can apply for the grant online.
  • The Class 3 Experience and Equivalency program gives Class 3 drivers with a minimum of two years of experience the opportunity to take a 40-hour Class 1 training upgrade instead of the 113-hour Class 1 MELT program, which is focused on new drivers.
  • Industry has warned of a potential shortage of 3,600 commercial truck drivers in Alberta by 2023.