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LETTER: Trades will lose out of they don’t offer on-the-job training

Port Alberni father advocates for better heavy equipment operator opportunities

To the Editor,

I’m writing this letter in reference to a job environment which demands training and high priced education but then insists on years of experience for said jobs.

This is ingrained in jobs across the board but I am specifically referencing the Heavy Equipment Operator certification. This is a very costly, intense, three-month (or longer) course which requires a high level of knowledge and understanding of the equipment being used, before graduation is acknowledged. Students train on dozers, excavators, loaders and rock trucks for three months at a cost of $30,000 or more. Optionally also on graders at an additional $12,000. for one month of training.

My issue with this is that no one in the construction or mining industries is willing to provide on-the-job training to allow these individuals to gain the experience they need and that the same industry “demands” to secure a job.

I question how they expect them to get that experience if they, the industries involved, aren’t willing to give them the chance to get it. I also question how each of these companies started out since they themselves wouldn’t have had the experience they now demand of others.

For me this is personal as our own son is caught in this injustice being forced on those who wish to secure a solid future in a good career.

The industry needs to think before perpetuating this issue. The bottom line is, without the new younger individuals entering their markets, there is no future for those same markets.

Byron Lewis,

Port Alberni