Are you attending the right school? School fraud is a big problem in North America and with our global business environment and students trying to improve their lives from other countries there are a lot of people signing up for training all the time thinking it will give them a better future. Often it turns out to be a scam that just takes their money and leaves them with nothing at the end of the day.
There are of course many variations of school fraud in the marketplace and not just in the transportation industry. You certainly heard about the high profile university fraud with stars like Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin in the college admission scandal from 2019. Fifteen people went to jail for falsifying records to get their children in to elite schools. Other frauds may not be so public and often colleges won’t even announce them worried it will damage their reputation. Fraud happens in both mainstream facilities and those that are not even real. As our world moves more onto online programming it opens up new scandals that attract people from abroad.
Schools that claim to teach English are often used as fronts for school fraud. With people coming from different countries and not understanding our school system can get caught in not knowing the difference between schools or understanding the language. It is often when it is too late that they find out they have been part of a scam from teachers that are not even real teachers.
Transportation training schools have often been part of the school fraud problem. Schools that are not certified by the Private Careers Colleges process offer courses at low cost and don’t teach the students the proper training they will need for the career. They train them just on a specific route, multiple people in a truck, or fake a certificate. The student goes to find employment and find they can’t get a job in the industry and need to be retrained at a certified facility.
Just naming a college can be a way of a school scamming their students. Many schools involved in school fraud will add the word “college” to their name. The word “college” is not a certified term so anyone can add it to their name making them look more prestige to people from overseas. Students will leave large deposits with the school to find out they are not even a real facility.
As a podcast producer for the industry I often get many comments and requests for both training and hiring of truck drivers from people overseas. It would be very easy to set up a fake facility and start taking people’s money. The language difference and naming of businesses in our industry can often fool people not familiar with companies in transportation.
With so many ways to create fraud in a training facility how do you know if you are applying to certified and reputable facility? The best way to start is at the top and work your way down. If you’ve come across a training facility you like in Ontario go to the Private Career Colleges website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/search-private-career-college-ontario and search for the school. If it is registered it will pop up and you know they are at least a real school. Search industry associations such as the Truck Training School Association of Ontario and check their member services and pricing along other training facilities with similar programs. Ask other people about the school and check references. Ask potential employers about the school or where they recommend a student should go for training.
As for instructors, recruiters, or anyone that promises specific grades or enrollment be very weary that a scam might be in place. No instructor, tutor, or recruiter can guarantee marks or placement and should be reported. Proper training is an investment for your future and should not be a shortcut to a quick certificate. Watch out for those that promise too much for too little. A good place to start to find a certified training facility is with the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) that can be found at www.ttsao.com
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work and his trucking podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only.