Improving Access to Driver Training in Northern Manitoba

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and University College of the North (UCN) are partnering to launch a new program to increase access to driver training programming in northern Manitoba. The UCN Class 5 Adult Driver Training Program will help create safer roads and improve workforce development in this critical area of the province by bringing affordable and accessible training into communities across the region.

“Promoting road safety throughout Manitoba is a core part of MPI’s mandate,” said Ward Keith, Chair of MPI’s Board of Directors. “Better access to driver training and education is a critical way MPI can partner with communities in northern Manitoba to reduce the disproportionately high number of road fatalities this region experiences. MPI is proud to support UCN in eliminating barriers to Class 5 adult driver training.”

Between 2019 and 2021, 13 per cent of all traffic fatalities in the province occurred in northern Manitoba, despite the region accounting for only six per cent of the provincial population.

The new program is unique because it will offer both in-class and in-car training to adults in cities and towns across northern Manitoba. Recognizing that participants may enter the program at different stages of the licensing process, adaptable cohorts will be established based on demand to offer support and training to obtain a Learner stage licence through to the completion of a passed Class 5 road test.

“Improving access to driver training is one of the best ways to develop and grow the workforce in northern Manitoba,” said Jamie Grant, UCN’s Associate Vice-President, Community & Industry Solutions. “Partnering with MPI to offer this program at UCN will improve safety on our roads while contributing to long-term economic development in the region.”

MPI and UCN anticipate over 125 students will receive training this year. UCN will begin accepting applications on July 4 for the first phase of the program, which includes Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas. Adults can sign up online and in person with staff who will be visiting each community. Training is expected to begin in July 2023 and expansion is planned to more areas across the north in the coming months. For more information, visit UCN’s website.

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