RED Driving School has one of the largest collections of driving instructors in the UK, with over 1,500 DVSA registered instructors across the country. There are around 2,000 people who turn 17 every day, and therefore eligible for a driver’s license.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended testing during shutdowns and once testing resumed it was at significantly reduced capacity.
Each examiner could only perform five tests per day, instead of the usual seven.
By April 2021, this had increased the number of people awaiting a test to more than 500,000.
Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School, commented on the impact of the pandemic on the industry.
READ MORE: Drivers spent nearly £ 150million on test drives
He said: “The DVSA is working hard to tackle the backlog and has launched a huge recruitment drive backed by extensive training for new examiners. However, it will take a long time, perhaps over a year, to deal with bringing wait times back to normal levels.
“There is now, unfortunately, a national shortage of driving instructors not only because of unprecedented demand, but also because perhaps up to 15% of the country’s instructors have left the industry as a result. of the pandemic.
“All of the instructors are self-employed and although some have received SEISS program grants, many have not.
“In addition, many people who were training to become instructors have had their training interrupted by the pandemic and the legislation surrounding instructor training has meant that many cannot now qualify within the allowed timeframe.
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“The Department of Transportation has categorically refused to change the rules and as a result many future instructors have been lost to the industry.”
Despite all the turbulence, RED helps future drivers and instructors through different resources.
Mr McIntosh said, “We have developed and launched a very successful Driver Instructor Crash Course based at our National Training Center in Donington Park, which is helping to make even more RED Instructors available to face the challenge. huge demand for courses.
“Also recognizing that learners’ test day nerves play an even bigger role when a catch-up can be in a few weeks, RED has launched a special webinar program, How to Overcome Test Drive Day Nerves, to help learners to prepare for their test. “
“A lot of people think the training is really hard, but it’s totally worth it.
“I love helping people learn a skill for life. The students are so petrified when they get into the car for the first time.
“It’s nice to see them go from almost nothing about a car to passing their test. “
Kimberley echoed Atia’s sentiment, praising the flexibility that driving instructors have.
She said, “It’s so great to manage your own time. You don’t need to apply for a vacation permit, and it allows me to devote more time to my hobbies, such as walking.
“And when you work, you can decide what hours you work.
“Ultimately, you will share in the success of their journey and watch them learn a life skill. “