Road Builders Train Korean Workers To Operate Heavy Equipment In Canada

Road builders train Korean workers to operate heavy equipment in Canada

Staff Writer
Daily Commercial News And Construction Record
August 12, 2008

A small group of Koreans have arrived in Alberta with four months of heavy-equipment training under their belts.

The workers reported for work in Edmonton last month.

Hunt International, a recruitment and human resources firm, is providing workers in Korea with training in heavy equipment operation, so they can obtain employment in B.C. and Alberta.

The company formed a strategic partnership with the Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association to offer Korean workers a four-month course that combines the B.C. Road Builders foundation course with English language training.

Once they finished their training over there, we helped them with settlement services, which includes working with the employer to get the temporary foreign worker documentation done, said Don Marshall, senior employment specialist with Hunt International.

In Korea, we assist with the whole immigration process. This includes things like getting a passport, medical and drug testing and arranging air flights. Anything employers are likely to ask about, we take care of in Korea.

Marshall said Hunt also assists workers to make the adjustment to living in small communities, where they are most likely to find work.

Coming to Canada can be a culture shock, he said.

We work with them in Korea and follow up once they are here. We also help them find a place to live temporarily until they find their own place.

The first group of workers arrived in June and they came to Edmonton to work at North American Bottling.

We also find other employers if they dont want to do heavy equipment, explained Marshall.

A lot of these skills are transferable to the transportation industry. The foundation course is a good orientation for working in the Canadian construction industry, as well as living in Canada.

The program starts with a 20-day foundation course which introduces students to the basics of the industry and covers safety, civil engineering and equipment.

This is followed by training on actual equipment bulldozers, heavy articulated rock trucks, backhoes, excavators, loaders and graders.

The employer went to Korea and hired enough workers who could work in processing, mechanics, driving and warehousing to operate the entire plant.

A second group of eight to 10 workers is heading to Quesnel to work as a team and take over the operation of a crusher in gravel production, said Marshall.

They will do everything, including operating the loader, truck driving, operating the crusher, mechanic, manager and administration.