Class 5 Driving
The Class 5 Community Ambassador Program (5CAP) was created after it was identified that youth on northern First Nations often face significant hurdles to finding employment and one of the biggest was obtaining a driver’s license.
Past employment initiatives that targeted First Nation youth found that a lack of a driver’s licence was often preventing graduates from getting hired or being promoted to higher-paying positions. It is estimated that 75 per cent of jobs in the north require a driver’s licence; however, 90 per cent of unemployed First Nation adults are lacking a driver’s licence. The MKO, ISC, and MPI all came together to create 5CAP, and provide various financial and logistical supports for the Ambassadors and those that signed up for the program. The province of Manitoba provided funding for a pre5CAP initiative that trained First Nation driver trainers, identified the need for 5CAP, and provided some infrastructure for the 5CAP program.
Currently, the 5CAP pilot project has Ambassadors working on six First Nations: Tataskwayak, Opaskwayak, Nisichawayasihk, Mosakahiken, Norway House and Pimichikamak. Within 3 months, numerous youth have signed up for the program and have earned their driver’s licences. In Opaskwayak, 81 people signed up with the local 5CAP Ambassador and now 23 new drivers are ready to take on new employment opportunities. Within a few months of 5CAP starting, the Ambassadors were trained and signed up 284 people for help, resulting in over 37 new drivers, with 191 currently working through the process.
Overall the Ambassadors signed up over 200 people, resulting in over 37 new drivers with 191 more working through the process to help individuals obtain a license. Both the young generation and adults have been using the service, with many still waiting on the list. Throughout the process our focus was getting graduated license applicants, safe & legal driving practices, proper I.D offering, preparation for road test, driving skill techniques and sponsoring fees. In addition to the program we want to continue to serve this program in other First Nation communities of MKO where many other applicants can achieve a Class 5 license.