Home Social Scottish Government fund to support training for around 60 new community minibus...
A new £150,000 fund has been announced to address the shortage of legally qualified minibus drivers and boost community transport in Scotland.
The funding, which was announced by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, at the Community Transport Association (CTA) Conference in Edinburgh, will support training, which can cost as much as £1,200 per person, for around 60 new minibus drivers.
According to the Scottish Government, car drivers who passed their car driving test after 1 January 1997 are not permitted to drive minibuses without undertaking additional training and a separate driving test.
It says the cost of minibus driver training, the driving test and associated costs are around £1,200 per person, which can be a struggle for small community transport providers to afford. Therefore, the aim of the initiative is to support training for around 60 people over the next three years. It’s also hoped that, in time, these drivers will then go on to train others to drive minibuses.
Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government is committed to our communities and providing transport that meets the needs of many of our most vulnerable and isolated citizens.
“The community transport sector is highly valued by those who are unable to access conventional public transport services, not just because it gets them from A to B but also in the social benefits it provides.
“The costs of driver training for the community sector is often seen as prohibitive, leading to shortages in legally qualified minibus drivers. This funding helps alleviate this issue and secure the operation of many community transport services across the country.”
The Scottish Government says the programme will help provide a pool of highly trained drivers and future instructors to support the long-term sustainability of the sector.
It will also develop a specific training manual for use well after the lifetime of the scheme. CTA will administer the Scheme on behalf of Transport Scotland.