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North Somerset Council plans taxi recruitment open day as numbers licensed drops 40%

North Somerset Council are running an open day event aimed at recruiting more taxi drivers after seeing a 40% drop off in numbers licensed in the region.

The drop-in event on Friday 8 July, from 9am to 5pm in the New Council Chamber at the Town Hall in Weston, is a chance to find out exactly what is needed to become a taxi driver.

Staff from the council’s licensing team will be on hand to speak to potential recruits and tell them everything they need to know, alongside representatives from local taxi firms, vehicle rental companies and a driving instructor.

There will be information about DBS checks, medicals and the application process.

People attending will even be able to take the £20 ‘suitability test’; a written multiple-choice test which includes basic maths, English, map reading and use of an A to Z. It is the first stage in applying to become a taxi driver.

People who take the test will get their results immediately which means they can start the applications process on the day, as soon as they have passed the initial assessment.

The open day aims to help local operators recruit more drivers and therefore be able to fulfil their bookings. The industry has seen a loss of drivers since the pandemic.

Cllr Mike Bell, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council and executive member for licensing, explains: “As a licensing authority we’ve become increasingly aware that, since the pandemic, a significant number of drivers are choosing to join other industries, and as a result many companies are struggling to fulfil their booking obligations.

“We’re currently licensing almost 40 per cent fewer drivers than pre-covid. Because drivers are self-employed, they can choose which operators to work for and can effectively pick and choose which jobs they respond to. Operators take bookings in good faith on the understanding they have drivers pledged to work but can be left scrabbling to fulfil bookings if drivers log-off at short notice.

“We’re holding this open day so potential taxi drivers can come and speak to us and find out more about the requirements. You’ll need to have had a British driving license for a year or more, be medically fit and have good knowledge of the area. I’d really encourage anyone who’s thinking about becoming a taxi driver in North Somerset to come along on Friday 8 July. You don't need to book in advance and can drop in to see us at any time during the day - it could be the first step towards your new career.”


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