Agenda item

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) / Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ) - 'Funding and Grandfather Rights'

Item requested by Mr. Crabtree (NSHCA) and Mr. Murrison (SSTA) in respect of

 

(a) individual funding for for NVQ’s /VRQ’s – a number of drivers are not entitled to receive ‘Train to Gain’ funding;

 

(b) ‘Grandfather Rights’ – request that drivers who have worked continuously in the hackney carriage / private hire trade  for a given number of years (e.g. 10 or more) be exempt from the requirement to undertake NVQ / VRQ training.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered requests from the NSHCA and the SSTA for clarification about drivers receiving funding to undertake the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) / Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ); together with a request that drivers who had worked continuously in the hackney carriage / private hire trade for a given number of years (e.g. 10 or more) be given exemption from having to undertake vocational training.

 

Mr. Thompson fervently disputed the suggestion that funding for training was unavailable for some drivers, stating that to date he had received no evidence to suggest otherwise. He stressed that ‘Train to Gain’ in association with both the Hugh Baird College in Bootle and Southport College, offered funded vocational training to hackney carriage and private hire drivers and that should any association / driver be refused funding they should contact himself and/or Tony Norbury, Training Co-ordinator (Train to Gain / Merseylearn) immediately, to enable them to investigate / resolve the matter.

 

In respect of ‘Grandfather Rights’ providing exemption from training for long-term drivers, the Chair reminded stakeholders that this was not the case and referred them to the  resolution of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee held on 27 October 2008  - Minute No. 26 – Review of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Conditions, and that ‘Grandfather Rights provided a period of 5 years lead-in period for long-term drivers before bring required to complete the training.  Mr. Thompson indicated that he was presently liaising with the course providers to investigate if the national qualification framework would allow drivers’ prior experience to be taken into account (Prior Experiential Learning) which would allow exemption from relevant course modules.

 

Discussion took place and a number of differing views and comments were offered:

 

  • Providing training for hackney carriage and private hire trade gives the opportunity for the trade to demonstrate its professional competence.

 

  • The qualification is a good idea, but some drivers might be nervous about going back to college later on in life, especially drivers with literacy problems.

 

  • Attendance at college provided drivers not just with the opportunity to increase their knowledge, but also, through meeting other drivers, to exchange skills, share ideas.

 

  • Concern that potential new recruits might be deterred from joining the trade if they had to wait to undertake a qualification prior to being able to commence working.

 

  • Mr. Thompson stressed that colleges were geared up to meet demand and reduce waiting times and that tutors were experienced in helping students who might be anxious about attending college for various reasons.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

applicants experiencing problems obtaining funding to undertake the VRQ and NVQ in Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire, be required to contact the Principal Licensing and Enforcement Officer with written evidence of this;

 

(2)

on receipt of written evidence indicated in (1) above, the Principal Licensing and Enforcement Officer investigate instances where funding was not forthcoming and if unresolved report such instances to the Licensing and Regulatory Committee; and

 

(3)

the Principal Licensing and Enforcement Officer investigate the incorporation of Prior Experiential Learning for experienced hackney carriage and private hire drivers undertaking the VRQ and NVQ in Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire.