The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives, and for many, one of the biggest changes has been to the daily commute. Where many people used to cycle, drive or use public transport, they can now stroll downstairs in their slippers for their morning meeting on Teams. On the other hand, demand for delivery services has never been so high, with thousands of opportunities available for those with their own transport. So, is driving still as useful as it once was for those in the working world? And what impact will reopening driving test centres have on job opportunities for individuals across the UK?
The impact of not having a license on job opportunities
Whilst the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) have kept tests running for prospective ambulance drivers and some other essential workers, there are plenty of individuals who have struggled as a result of a year of disruption to both driving lessons and driving tests. As a result, many theory test centres and driving schools are already overwhelmed with bookings for when they reopen this week, and many driving test centres are also fully booked for when they reopen on the 22nd April. But how many jobs actually require you to drive?
When we checked on reed.co.uk there were around 17 thousand jobs that mentioned a driving license, across a range of sectors from construction and property to social care. Whilst there were a lot of specific ‘Driver’ jobs advertised, from HGV to Minibuses, there were also many other jobs that required a driving license including Warehouse Operative, Mortgage Broker, Care Assistant and Electrical Engineer. It’s clear that a driving license can still be a barrier to entry for a lot of jobs, and that’s without including those who need to drive just to be able to get to work.
Will the pandemic impact our long term driving habits?
With nearly a quarter of the UK workforce now working from home, some may argue that driving for work reasons has become less important for many of those working in white collar industries across the UK. Regular data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) could be seen to support this, with a 37% decrease in the number of new car registrations this month, compared to the 2010-2019 March average.
On the other hand, the shift towards more flexible working patterns has also resulted in increased property purchases away from city centre locations where public transport is more readily available, towards locations where a car is often essential to get around. On top of this, the use of public transport has been actively discouraged for much of the past year, and whilst some have switched to other modes of transport or stayed more locally, others have increasingly relied on the car to get around.
The car is still an incredibly attractive way of getting into work.
The fact still remains, that cars are still the number one way of commuting, even in urban areas, with nearly a third of all workers around the UK relying on a car or a van to get into work. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has actually increased demand for driving. However, people are now faced with a new obstacle, as the UK now faces a major backlog of people wanting to complete tests, which for many will present real challenges when looking for work. It is clear that if the UK wants to reopen its economy, increasing capacity to allow large volumes of individuals to complete their driving tests quickly is essential, and appropriate systems and infrastructure need to be put into place.
Job opportunities for those with a driving license
From September 2021, Reed in Partnership will be partnering with the DVSA to provide for hundreds of license holders with work as Driving Test Centre Associates. These roles will be responsible for meeting and greeting participants and visitors to the test centres, facilitating their experience throughout the testing process, managing the invigilation and efficient delivery of tests to candidates and ensuring that relevant procedures and guidelines are always adhered to. You can find out more and apply for these roles across the country here.