Driving tests fail to prepare young for work

Employers would welcome a new ‘driving for work’ qualification, and feel the current system of driver training and testing fails to prepare young people for driving as part of their job, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has said.

In a government-funded study, it found more than six out of 10 employers polled felt learner driver training and testing processes were inadequate in preparing 17 to 24-year-olds for the challenges of driving at work.

And more than half said they would like to see a driving for work qualification introduced to follow the regular driving test, particularly if it helped to reduce accidents.

The poll of 407 employers and managers and 25 younger workers found young people tended to drive in a variety of roles, including making sales and service visits, deliveries, carrying passengers and driving vehicles on sites.

Three-quarters of employers reported their young employees were driving in situations that were not covered by the current learner driver training and testing process for example at night, or in icy conditions.

And more than two-thirds said they were driving vehicles for work that were larger than a car (for example, a van) and in which they had not been trained or tested when learning to drive.

Any qualification that was introduced would need to be to a national standard, but also optional, flexible, and able to be tailored to the needs of different organisations, they suggested.

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