SMS partners with college to expedite heavy equipment training in Alberta

To help mitigate a well-known shortage of heavy equipment technicians (HETs) across Canada, SMS Equipment has partnered with Keyano College to sponsor cohorts of students with an opportunity to participate in the Heavy Equipment Technician—Pre-Employment Program.

The Heavy Equipment Technician—Pre-Employment Program partnership is an active effort to achieve the overall goal of creating a sustainable, robust apprenticeship program while continuing to build SMS Equipment’s brand as an employer of choice for potential heavy equipment technicians.

“Partnering with SMS Equipment, an industry leader in the Fort McMurray Region, is a great opportunity to support workforce expansion by proactively increasing the number of qualified candidates in the local area,” said Robert Marsh, Interim Dean – School of Trades and Heavy Industrial for Keyano College.

The sponsored cohort can accommodate up to 18 students to train as heavy equipment technicians for the oilsands helping candidates to better establish and accelerate their careers in the trades. Apprentices enrolled in the Heavy Equipment Technician—Pre-Employment Program will meet all Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training examination requirements for heavy equipment technicians.

“We are especially excited to have six of our current Fort McMurray 63N Branch Labourers who have chosen to pursue the HET trade”, stated Larry Gouthro, GM Fort McMurray, SMS Equipment.

“The ‘grow our own’ approach is essential and integrates very well into our recruitment and employee retention strategy,” said Steve Voogd, Manager of Training at SMS Equipment, who believes wholeheartedly in providing dynamic growth opportunities to all our employees.

The program has launched and will run for the remainder of 2022. SMS Equipment and Keyano College expect to add a new cohort of candidates to the program in 2023.