Taxi drivers get a hire education

PUBLISHED: 19:41 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 23:24 15 June 2010

Councillor Graham Godbeer presented the NVQ certificates to 17 taxi drivers.

Councillor Graham Godbeer presented the NVQ certificates to 17 taxi drivers.

Copyright Archant Ltd

TAXI and private hire drivers from East Devon have successfully completed NVQs in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving.

TAXI and private hire drivers from East Devon have successfully completed NVQs in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving. At a special presentation on April 15, at East Devon District Council's Offices, 17 drivers were awarded certificates in recognition of their outstanding achievements by Councillor Graham Godbeer, chairman of the licensing and enforcement committee. Gary Charles, south west training manager for Skills UK, praised the drivers for the time taken out of work to study, adding: "You have set an example for others to follow".He went on: "For some drivers, this is their first ever formal qualification and they feel really proud of what they have achieved". The training was provided free under the Government's 'Train to Gain' scheme and was delivered by Skills UK Ltd, a leading provider of driver training. Training includes awareness of the support needed by people with disabilities, customer service skills, health and safety, taxi and private hire regulation and safe driving skills.Vikki Sparks, of Sparky's Taxis, in Honiton, was one of the successful candidates, along with husband Iain and their driver Wayne Manvill.She explained the reason they felt it was important to attend, saying that the image of taxi drivers is tarnished by bad mini-cab reputation.She said: "We want to do anything that helps to improve the image of taxi drivers."When we were approached by Skills UK, through EDDC, to see if we were interested in doing it, and it was free, we were more than happy to take part.'She said all three of them have had experience of passengers who have been ill when they have gone to collect them, and the course was useful in ensuring they could deal with that type of situation.She said: "We all have a sound knowledge, but the course means we have got the certificate to prove it.

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