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‘EARN AS YOU LEARN’: Basildon Council launches pilot scheme to recruit new taxi drivers



Basildon Council will launch a pilot scheme for new licensed drivers called "Earn as you learn," following agreement by councillors at a meeting of the council's Licensing Committee.


The scheme allows applicants an extended period in which to pass the topographical section of the Knowledge Test while also being able to work as a Basildon-licensed "Earn as you learn" private hire driver for a private hire operator. 

The scheme was suggested in response to concerns highlighted by the Basildon Taxi and Private Hire Forum that the local trade is experiencing a reduction in the number of licensed drivers, including new applicants, following the COVID-19 pandemic.   


In order to become an "Earn as you learn" licensed driver, the applicant will still need to meet existing pre-licensing criteria to ensure appropriate passenger safety, including passing a criminal record check, a driving assessment, medical and passenger assistance training, as well as other checks. 

"Earn as you learn" is a nine-month pilot scheme. The application window opens Monday 13 March 2023 and will close Friday 31 March 2023. For further information please contact licensing@basildon.gov.uk - application forms are available now.  


Councillor Danny Lawrence, Chairman of Basildon Council's Licensing Committee, welcomed the scheme: "We are keen to encourage new driver applicants into Basildon, to boost our driver numbers and help our residents who want to access quality local transport options.  

 

"We hope that by giving drivers the chance to earn while they are learning our local areas, they will be supported to pass the topographical test to achieve the same professional standards as other licence holders. This will then mean they can have a licence giving them greater flexibility to drive private hire or hackney carriage vehicles licensed by Basildon Council, with all the benefits that brings."  


The council's licensing team will continue to engage with the Basildon Taxi Forum and representatives of the taxi trade as the pilot scheme progresses. Regular updates and a final report will be presented to the Licensing Committee to monitor progress and consider future options.  

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