17th January 2013

Driving forward new standards in London’s Minicab industry

Unique Addison Lee initiative to identify highest calibre would-be drivers

Addison Lee today launched a new benchmark for excellence in minicab driving, as thirty-five of the best drivers who offer their services to the company becoming the first to graduate with the ‘Addison Lee Diploma’ qualification.

The ‘Addison Lee Diploma’, offered to select graduates of the Addison Lee Knowledge School, is the first of its kind in the industry.  This new award provides recognition to the best private hire drivers in London, whilst improving driver knowledge and understanding of routes in London.

Designed to provide a range of advanced driving skills, the Diploma teaches and trains drivers in vital areas such as customer service, cycle safety, driving technique and first aid, as well as efficient driving techniques to lower fuel costs and the fleet’s carbon footprint.

As part of its ongoing search for the best talent, Addison Lee has extended its driver training programme to job seekers who wish to become a self-employed private hire driver in a pilot project with the Stockwell and Streatham branches of Jobcentre Plus. The new programme will give long-term unemployed individuals the qualifications needed to move into the Addison Lee Knowledge School with the aim of offering their services to Addison Lee.

“For more than 30 years, Addison Lee has been known for providing the greatest taxi service in the world, for the greatest city in the world – thanks in no small part to the investment we continue to make in training the drivers who offer their services to Addison Lee. By recognising drivers who meet our exacting standards, this new Diploma will help us ensure we keep Londoners moving quickly, reliably and safely around the city,” said Addison Lee’s Chairman, John Griffin.

Commenting on the new Jobcentre initiative, Griffin continued:

“I am a firm believer in the Big Society, and our partnership with Jobcentre Plus is just one part of how Addison Lee continues to give something back to London. It’s encouraging to see the long-term unemployed taking part in our scheme and we’re very proud of this new initiative.”

About the Addison Lee Knowledge School and Diploma

The Knowledge School

Addison Lee’s Knowledge School was established in 2006 to provide aspiring private hire drivers with training to obtain PCO (Public Carriage Office) licenses, which are a mandatory requirement for private hire drivers. Drivers who successfully obtain a PCO license are invited onto the Addison Lee Knowledge Course, which provides a framework to further develop the knowledge and skills required to become a private hire driver. In addition to PCO training and the Addison Lee Knowledge Course, the school now provides an enhanced diploma scheme to assess the achievement of individual drivers. The level of training offered by Addison Lee is unique as no other private hire operator runs a dedicated training school.

The Knowledge School and Diploma training is funded by Addison Lee and the Innovation Fund.

Working in partnership with Jobcentre, the Knowledge School has now opened its doors to the long-term unemployed, who previously would not have access to the Addison Lee Knowledge Course. Jobseekers from Stockwell and Streatham Jobcentres have access to a four-week level 2 qualification accredited by EDI entitled ‘Introduction to the Role of the Professional Mini Cab Driver’, which is designed to give participants the basic knowledge required to apply for a PCO license and enter the Addison Lee Knowledge Course.

The Addison Lee Diploma

The Addison Lee Diploma is made up of three modules comprising:

  • Bronze: Customer Service, Conflict Management and Cyclist Awareness – (cyclist awareness training is delivered by qualified cyclist trainers accredited by Cycle UK)
  • Silver: Defensive Driving knowledge skills and practical driving techniques. We have a qualified ROSPA examiner/assessor who observes the drivers and uses developmental techniques to enhance the drivers skills and abilities
  • Gold: Emergency first aid  externally accredited by the HSC

All Addison Lee trainers are experts in the relevant occupational areas and are qualified to the level of PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the Life Long Learning Sector Level 4) DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector Level 5) and Assessor (Certificate in Assessing Vocational Competence Level 3).

About the Jobcentre Plus initiative

On Thursday 17 January, Addison Lee will also be presenting certificates to 13 Jobcentre Plus candidates who have completed the first stage of their qualification and achieved the QCF in the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver Level 2.

Candidates from Jobcentre Plus are funded by the Skills Funding Agency and Jobcentre Plus.

The next intake of drivers begin the four-week ‘Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver’ in the week commencing 21st January.

This is an ongoing initiative with the Streatham and Stockwell Jobcentres and the next intake will start in approximately 12 weeks, once the next batch of drivers have graduated from the scheme.

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