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Middlesbrough-based Boro Taxis has launched an initiative to help unemployed people get back to work in the private hire industry, and will even fund their training.

Teesside’s largest private hire firm held an informal information day at its Cargo Fleet offices in Middlesbrough last week aimed at recruiting new drivers from the ranks of the unemployed.

Boro Taxis has secured funding through its partner, Profound Training, from the Skills Funding Agency, so is able to cover the cost of the course, locality and driving assessments, and the extensive background (DBS) check that all drivers must have before working for the company.

Successful applicants will then work towards a BTEC Level 2 and learn about Health and Safety law, road safety and the sector’s regulatory framework. In addition, the funding will pay for successful candidates’ local authority private hire drivers licence for the first 12 months.

John Moon, Boro Taxis’ director responsible for recruitment and training, said: “This a fantastic chance for unemployed people to get a job, which offers a great amount of flexibility and can fit around their lifestyle.

“Typically, new drivers can be on the road about six weeks after starting the course, sometimes the process can be completed within four weeks. It all depends on how quickly the applicant passes their assessments and how soon the DBS checks are returned.”

Moon added: “There aren’t many other opportunities available for people to undergo training, gain recognised qualifications and be employed in fewer than two months for no cost other than their time.”

To be eligible for the training course applicants must be actively seeking work or unemployed (receiving Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit), have a picture identification for the DBS purposes, no more than six points on their driving licence, must have been resident in the UK for the past three years, or be from an EU country, and aged over 21, for insurance purposes.