A fenland taxi company has opened a new training academy in a bid to attract more drivers into the industry.
Daddy Cabs, based in March, Cambridgehire and around the Fens, has launched the DC Academy for private hire drivers, saying it hopes the move will “take away the fear” of becoming a taxi driver.
“There has always been a need to find new drivers, compounded with the Covid pandemic as we lost a lot of drivers,” said Simon Willey, new business manager at Daddy Cabs.
Willey said new entrants were put off by the time it takes to begin learning the trade due to the need to take a local knowledge test. Daddy Cabs has agreed with local authorities, including Fenland District Council, to defer the requirement for a knowledge test by six months.
“It was stopping new drivers getting behind the wheel,” Willey said. “From the date of when the application is done and licence issued, the test can be deferred for six months.”
Applicants will be given tuition from more experienced taxi drivers as part of the academy training. Director Simon Stiff, who founded Daddy Cabs in 2013, will also help fund applications through the academy.
Daddy Cabs has around 25 drivers, but has always seen a steady flow of drivers both joining and leaving, but Willey is confident the academy can help stabilise the turnover of drivers and could double the size of the fleet.
“Once we have a few applicants, it will go from strength to strength,” he said. “Ideally, it would be nice to have at least 50 drivers on the circuit through the academy.”