November 24, 2020
Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), the voice of Manitoba farmers, supports the provincial government’s new initiative to assist farmers seeking mandatory entry-level training (MELT) to obtain their Class 1 license, KAP president Bill Campbell said today. This program comes as a result of successful advocacy work from KAP, as well as calls from farmers to address these added financial barriers to entering the program.
“Farm safety is a key priority for KAP, and MELT training ensures that farmers receive high-quality training that will keep them safe on Manitoba highways,” Campbell said. “This time-limited grant is a step in the right direction, and we encourage all farmers in Manitoba to take advantage of this program. Manitoba farmers are not using their Class 1 licenses to take on long-haul routes, they just need to be able to safely move grain and livestock to market.”
The new grant, announced by the province this week, covers up to two-thirds of the cost of tuition for each employee up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. The grant includes training that takes place between November 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2021 or until the grant funding is fully expended.
KAP will continue to advocate for increased flexibility with MELT. During these uncertain times Manitoba farmers would benefit from an online platform for MELT course delivery, which is something that farmers have identified as another option to further reduce barriers to this training.
Under the current pandemic response measures commercial truck driver training to meet MELT requirements has been identified as an essential service, which will further help eliminate training backlogs. We are assured that training schools are taking the necessary precautions to keep students, instructors and in particular farmers, safe.
More information on the program can be found at http://www.gov.mb.ca./wd/ites/is/melt.html.
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