Following an industry meeting between representatives of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Logistics UK and commercial driving schools last week, the Agency has announced that driver training will be able to recommence as soon as the second part of the relaxation of lockdown measures occurs, which is widely expected to be Monday 12 April.
During the meeting, representatives from the vocational training industry said that they were ready to put candidates forward for testing from day one (ie 12 April). However, when DVSA announced that vocational training would be recommencing it also stipulated that there will be a 10-day lead time before the first could be booked. The industry’s reaction to DVSA’s announcement, therefore, has been tinged with disappointment.
James Firth, Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy at Logistics UK, said: “We’ve been campaigning to get vocational testing started as quickly as possible because it’s not a backlog, it’s a lost opportunity. If a 17-year-old who is waiting to take their car test has to wait until they’re 18 they probably will. Whereas a 25-year-old who lost his or her job because of COVID and is now looking for a new industry to enter can’t become a truck driver right now, because they can’t get their Category C test. They will find work somewhere else and they will be lost to us. It’s not a backlog, it’s a lost opportunity.”