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Home > News > October 2007 > 11 October 2007

GoSkills and Train to Gain help drivers achieve taxi qualification

Fifty Chelmsford taxi drivers have become the first graduates of a development programme that saw each driver achieve an NVQ Level 2 certificate.

With support from GoSkills, the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport, and funding from the Train to Gain service, the drivers' each received an NVQ Level 2 certificate in Road Passenger Transport.

The NVQs have been introduced as part of the support that aims to help taxi drivers become ambassadors for the area they serve, with training in customer service and awareness of medical conditions and disabilities. The drivers also trained in health and safety, safer driving skills and legal matters.

David Cowey, GoSkills' business adviser in the East of England, said: "GoSkills has played its part in developing this partnership and our recent work nationally with Train to Gain has resulted in self employed drivers now being able to access funding for training towards a national taxi qualification.

"These 50 self-employed taxi/private hire drivers are the first in the UK to be recognised in achieving the award through the support of Train to Gain and we are confident that there will be many more."

Councillor John Spencer, deputy cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "Taxi drivers work very hard in Essex at giving their customers the service they want, but this qualification will help them to achieve that something extra special.

"The driver will essentially become an ambassador for the area they serve, the passenger will be more satisfied with the service and our aim at Essex of providing better public transport will be a stage further to being met."

Speaking as the relevant licensing authority for Chelmsford drivers, cabinet member for the environment, councillor Janette Potter, said: "I am delighted that our drivers have had the opportunity to participate in this qualification and improve the service that they provide. We are encouraging all other eligible drivers in Chelmsford to sign up for this course.

"The Council takes its responsibility as a licensing authority extremely seriously and works hard to ensure that the public are satisfied with the service they receive."

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