Feb
12
2020

48 Islanders take training this year to become school bus drivers

Minister Trivers and PSB Director Parker Grimmer with school bus driver training participants

The number of Islanders training to become school bus drivers doubled this year and 48 new drivers will be available for hire soon.

In 2019, the province lost one-third of its substitute drivers. Due to a high number of retirements, many substitute drivers took on full-time driver jobs or other jobs which are becoming more available in a strong economy. 

In response, school bus driver training programs were expanded and the number of drivers being trained this year increased from 24 to 48 new drivers. Training was supported by Skills PEI funding of $198,450 under the Labour Market Development Agreement. 

“Given the current shortage of school bus drivers in PEI and across the country, we are pleased that so many Islanders have answered the call for training. School bus drivers take their responsibility to safely transport more than 18,000 Island students to and from school each day very seriously, and it is very important that we have an adequate supply of school bus drivers.” 

-  Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Brad Trivers.

As a result of job fairs and promotional campaigns, many people are now taking part in the six-week training program which is free to participants. 

In addition to the JVI School Bus Driver Program and First Aid Certification, student drivers take on-the-job training which provides them with hands-on-experience on the bus, and classroom sessions to develop working knowledge of common situations. The training programs are coordinated by Rural Community Learning Inc. in Alberton.

“It is encouraging to see so many people graduating from the driver training programs,” said Public Schools Branch Director Parker Grimmer. “School bus drivers play a key role in helping students get ready to learn each day. They are often the first adult outside the home that a student will see each morning. They help students begin their day in a positive way which can make them more apt to attend school and be in a positive mindset to learn.” 

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the public school bus driver team is asked to contact the Public Schools Branch at or the French Language School Board. 

Media contact:
Jean Doherty    
Department of education and Lifelong Learning
902 314 5702
jmdoherty@gov.pe.ca

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