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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:52 am 
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Glasgow taxi drivers to be tested on English and knowledge of city after complaints

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/176 ... omplaints/

Cab drivers across Glasgow will be tested on their English and knowledge of the city amongst tough new measures proposed to tackle a shocking rise in passenger complaints.

Members of Glasgow City Council’s licensing committee are expected to introduce a policy, as suggested by Unite – Glasgow Cab Section, which means taxis and private hire car drivers will need to complete an SQA qualification before they can take passengers.

Figures have also revealed the number of complaints made against cab companies in the city had more than doubled in five years. Between 2014 and 2018 the number of incidents rose from 430 to 1038.

The number of private hire car drivers has also increased.

The move will make Glasgow the second local authority in Scotland after Dundee to introduce the testing.

In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

The council’s licensing committee deals with complaints of pirating, cherry-picking hires and over-charging fares. Drivers have also refused to assist wheelchair users or carry guide dogs.

A report submitted to the council reveals that the course would cost between £300-£400 per driver.

While it is hoped the level of customer service will be improved concerns have been raised by some representatives that the time to complete the course could be “detrimental” and impact the number of people willing to enter the trade.

Alex Wilson, chairman of the licensing board, said: “We are hoping the qualification will raise the standards of our drivers. It is going to replace the existing customer care course which is really outdated.

“The qualification will include a language test and suitable ways to help passengers with disabilities and mental health problems. There is already a code of conduct in place for taxi drivers but this new policy will include private hires.

“It will be mandatory for every new driver to complete. Existing drivers will have to complete it before they renew their licence. Applicants will have to know where key locations are – including the City Chambers.”

Calum Anderson of the Glasgow Cab Section said he was happy that the council had “embraced” the union’s idea. He added: “The standards of private hire car drivers and taxi services are going down. It is ridiculous taxis and cab drivers can gain a licence without a qualification or any training. If someone is required to do training, it means they will take time and effort to achieve their qualification.

“I am hoping it will deter anyone from coming into the profession for just a casual exercise. ”

The course will start in January.

How will the test work?

The new SQA qualification will replace the existing customer care course which is considered no longer fit for purpose.

A programme was created by the SQA in October 2018 to help taxi and private hire car drivers adapt to the challenges they face on a daily basis.

This certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver at SCQF level 5 has nine mandatory units.

They are: workplace health and safety, safety transport passengers, professional customer service, maintain the safety of the licensed vehicle, mobility and wheelchair assistance, plan routes and fares, transport luggage and parcels, safely transport school age children and the licensing regulations (Scotland).

From January 1, 2020 all applicants will require to have completed the training prior to submitting their application.

Existing licence holders whose licence needs to be renewed from April 1, 2020 will require to complete their training before renewing their licence.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:56 am 
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Quote:
In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

And he couldn't spell his name correctly either :lol:

Quote:
While it is hoped the level of customer service will be improved concerns have been raised by some representatives that the time to complete the course could be “detrimental” and impact the number of people willing to enter the trade.

So apparently the HC sector is on its knees, PHV numbers have just been capped, yet some are worried this test will mean less people willing to enter the trade? :-s

I'll leave Sussex to fill in the blanks. Again. S_____s


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:53 pm 
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In February Konstantinos Theodoropoulos was denied a cab licence because he couldn’t identify the City Chambers despite being inside the building opposite.

:D

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:12 pm 
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“It will be mandatory for every new driver to complete. Existing drivers will have to complete it before they renew their licence. Applicants will have to know where key locations are – including the City Chambers.”


Quote:
A report submitted to the council reveals that the course would cost between £300-£400 per driver.

That's going to make some people very rich.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:17 pm 
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So apparently the HC sector is on its knees, PHV numbers have just been capped, yet some are worried this test will mean less people willing to enter the trade? :-s

Since when has the trade made sense?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:51 am 
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Not sure if this piece fully makes clear the conflicting interests between Uber and its drivers - it seems to treat the two as singing from the same hymn sheet.

Anyway, can understand Uber being miffed by the new exam and consequently fewer drivers coming through, but not so sure about the drivers - who knows, they could end up better off if the new qualification means fewer drivers and thus higher earnings.


Uber drivers say SQA exam costs too much for low earners

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/176 ... w-earners/

GLASGOW Uber drivers fear proposals for cab drivers to sit an SQA English test will cost too much for low earners.

The Independent Worker’s Union Great Britain (IWGB) says the cost of the qualification, which will be between £300 and £400 for both taxi and private hire car operators, is too high.

Sources say this could prevent people entering the trade and put the public at risk, resulting in more passengers taking lifts from unlicensed vehicles.

Glasgow’s licensing committee this week approved plans to introduce a policy that means new drivers and those renewing their licence will need to complete an SQA qualification before they can take passengers.

Drivers will also be tested on their knowledge of the city in an attempt to tackle the rise in passenger complaints, which have more than doubled in the last five years.

Despite agreeing the council needs to introduce private hire training to improve the safety of passengers and
drivers, Uber claim these tests could prevent drivers from applying for a licence.

Chris Dames, the chairman of the Glasgow group of the United Private Hire Drivers, a branch of the IWGB, said: “We are pleased the council is ensuring passenger safety with the new qualifications but the cost to the drivers is far too high.

“Many of our members invested in cars on the promise of income that never materialised. The council and operators should help the low-paid and find the money to help drivers.”

Sources say the company believes regulation should be put in place should be proportionate but not as strict.

It claims extreme rules could be counter-productive for passengers who may end up taking a lift home from unlicensed vehicles, walking home or drink-driving – endangering themselves and others.

The company thinks further consultation on the training course should take place.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Sources say this could prevent people entering the trade and put the public at risk, resulting in more passengers taking lifts from unlicensed vehicles.

Aren't both taxis and PHVs number restricted anyway?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Chris Dames, the chairman of the Glasgow group of the United Private Hire Drivers, a branch of the IWGB, said: “We are pleased the council is ensuring passenger safety with the new qualifications but the cost to the drivers is far too high.

Not if it stops new entrants. Will be money well spent.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:29 pm 
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Just can't work out why the fella running the £400 course has the hump because the council have delayed the introduction of said course until April 2021.

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/187 ... -covid-19/

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Just can't work out why the fella running the £400 course has the hump because the council have delayed the introduction of said course until April 2021.

Indeed. Makes it sound like the whole taxi world is going to collapse and the public put in peril, but reality is that it'll just prolong the current standards for a wee while longer.

Anyway, here's the article - was quite interested in this issue, so good to keep it here for reference :wink:


Glasgow Taxi trainer fearful over standards as mandatory examination delayed due to COVID-19

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/187 ... -covid-19/

A MAN who trains city cabbies has hit out at Glasgow City Council’s decision to delay the introduction of a mandatory driver certificate by seven months, describing it as as “seriously flawed”.

Ross Blyth, head of Roadtrain Glasgow, is warning the authority will receive an influx of Taxi complaints as he fears drivers will fail to meet professional standards having not sat mandatory exams.

A committee held on Wednesday ruled that the certificate - named the introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver at SCQF level five - will be delayed until April due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The professional certificate examines drivers on nine mandatory units, including workplace health and safety, safety in transportation of passengers, professional customer service, maintenance and safety of the licensed vehicle, mobility and wheelchair assistance, routes and fares, transportation of luggage and parcels, safe transportation of school age children and licensing regulations.

Anyone wishing to become a taxi driver for the first time can still access the £400 qualification. But the issue has arisen for existing taxi drivers – who are obliged to sit the exam every three years with the renewal of their license badge.

The report states the decision was made by the committee after noticing a candidate “backlog” in Glasgow as it reads the online exam portal was “unavailable” to drivers “for over five months”.

But Mr Blyth says this is not true as he argues the qualification has been accessible to drivers every day since his centre was given the go-ahead to provide the training in March.

He said: “My first concern was that a council committee made a decision based on a seriously flawed and inaccurate report. The committee members can only decide on what action to approve if the information given to them is correct.

“The committee obviously assumed the officers who presented this report to them yesterday had done their homework and that clearly wasn’t the case.

“The threat to the wider public is that instead of over the next three years, having every driver with a professional certificate, is now unextended. This leaves the council open to increased complaints because there’ll be a large number of drivers operating in the city over the next three years who have not undergone professional training.

“Let's not beat around the bush - if you have a driver just now who has his badge but hasn’t learned English, doesn’t know the streets and is due his renewal in October, that means he will continue that behaviour for another three years because he won’t have learned or renewed the skills from the certificate.

“It closes the gates for the authority to see how many of the 1000 to 1500 drivers are persistent in their professional standards.”

He warns his business is now at jeopardy as he argued there is “no threat” of COVID-19 in his exam centre.

He explained: “This leaves us as training providers in jeopardy. We’ve went to considerate expense to set up the training centres to standard for this certificate.

“We have got premises for this course and spent considerate money rigging them out in order to deliver this qualification to drivers in Glasgow.

“I have drivers chapping my door every two minutes asking for their money back. I’ve took in £40,000 in fees and they want it back.

“Taxi drivers are out every day, day in day out with people in their cabs in a close proximity. If they come to my centre with a maximum of five people in spaced out desks, there is no threat.

“I would say them coming to our centre gives them a break from the COVID-19 risk in their cabs.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman outlined a temporary hold on the requirement to undertake the training will ease financial pressure already imposed on Taxi drivers due to the pandemic.

He said: “It is widely understood that the taxi and private hire car trade has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“A temporary hold on the requirement to undertake training will relieve hard-pressed drivers of a financial burden at a very challenging time.

“We cannot comment on Mr Blyth’s decision to continue to receive drivers for training within his premises when all other educational facilities were expected to be shut to help stem the spread of the virus.

“During lockdown drivers have been able to undertake on-line study as part of their training course.

“However, drivers are required to attend a training centre in person to complete course assessments.

Mr Blyth outlined his school teaches a maximum of five people at one time with strict hygiene measures in place in a bid to suppress the transmission of coronvirus.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:46 pm 
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Nothing particularly new here other than about the delay in the new course due to you-know-what.

But at least the chap earlier should be a bit happier. Assuming the third wave doesn't get here first :?


Taxi and private hire drivers will need qualification before they can renew their licence

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/192 ... w-licence/

TAXI and private hire car drivers will be required to complete their Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) next year before they can renew their licence.

From January 1, 2022 drivers will be able to achieve their certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver at SCQF level 5. The introduction of the course was delayed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May 2019, the licensing and regulatory committee approved the implementation of the certificate as a requirement for both the grant and renewal of a taxi driver’s licence and private hire car driver’s licence.

In September they agreed to delay the implementation of the qualification as a requirement for the renewal as a taxi and private hire car driver’s licence.

In order to establish the views of relevant stakeholders, a meeting took place with all the current course providers in March this year.

There are currently six training providers in Glasgow approved to deliver the course who have all invested financially to be able to deliver this course,

The issue was discussed at a public council meeting.

Chairman councillor Alex Wilson said: “I think it is good if we can get these operations up and running as soon as we can, we have invested a lot of money in setting this up.

“It will also follow through with our policy with the SCQF qualification and it would be good for our drivers to undertake this. I know there are challenges for our drivers given there is not the same night time economy.

“I propose that we have a lead in time and start on January 1, 2022 just to give us a chance to get the night time economy back in business as well as any other contract work out there.

“I have got nothing but sympathy for the trade in general.”

Concerns were raised that a third wave of coronavirus could delay this even further.

Councillor Elspeth Kerr said: “In view of the fact that we have a third wave of coronavirus sweeping Europe and although we appear to be going in the right direction, I don’t think that will miss us.

“Can we have that as a provisional date so we can potentially come back to it to double check that it will go ahead, depending on what the situation is then.

“We are looking for the economy to pick up enough to make enough money to pay this course.”

The start date has been set for January first but if anything happens which could delay this then the committee will review its decision.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:51 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Just can't work out why the fella running the £400 course has the hump because the council have delayed the introduction of said course until April 2021.

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/187 ... -covid-19/



probably because it will delay his becoming a millionaire and being able to retire by a year

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:53 pm 
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Just out of interest if the dragon lady gets her independence will drivers be then required to learn Gaelic ?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:22 pm 
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I can’t understand a word of Scottish. We were in Edinburgh once and stopped a cabby to ask for directions, it was like a sketch out of Rab C Nesbitt! Glaswegian is even harder to understand. :D


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