THE first group of taxi and private hire drivers to successfully complete a brand new licensed driver qualification have been presented with their awards.
The licensed driver programme was developed by West Cheshire College in conjunction with Cheshire West and Chester Licensing Authority and has to be completed before a taxi or private hire license is given to a new driver.
The course is made up of a BTEC in transporting passengers by taxi or private hire, a licensing knowledge test and a Visit Chester and Cheshire module. Skills for life support is also available for those that want it.
Peter Willett, licensing enforcement team leader, of the licensing authority, said: “Introducing a formal qualification for taxi drivers is a very good idea which helps to recognise the professional status of drivers.
“It’s a combination of local knowledge and conditions – a recognised national vocational qualification that can be updated and customised to meet the current and future requirements of the authority.
“The qualification content is set by the Authority and Visit Cheshire and Chester and is provided in partnership by West Cheshire College.”
Brian Crowe, chairman of the Cheshire West and Chester licensing committee said: “Not only does it prepare new drivers for their profession but it also offers reassurance for members of the public.”
Lyn Riley, Cheshire West and Chester executive director for area and community, said: “People travelling in taxis can be assured of excellent customer service from a driver who is up-to-date with all the relevant legislation including equality and diversity, because this and more is all covered by the course.”
Awards were presented by college principal Sara Mogel