During the recent lockdown caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, many establishments have been offering members of the public the chance to enhance their job skills. For some of us, we are taking advantage of this in order to upskill. This has been made possible thanks to places like the Open University offering free courses. However, have you thought about a skill you may need to work on after lockdown is lifted?
From a young age, most of us aspire to pass our driving test. When we hit 17, many of us will dive straight into our lessons in a bid to pass as early as possible. In the UK, studies have found that you actually have the best chance of passing your test at this age, with pass rates standing at 55.8%. Studies by the DVSA have shown that the older you get, the less likely you are at passing, with 60-year-olds and above having the worst chance of passing — just 32.3% do so!
But, while the younger generation may see driving as a way of spreading their wings and gaining that much-wanted feel of freedom, it is certainly a skill that should be on everyone’s to-do list if they don’t already have it. According to research, almost one in six roles require a full licence, with this figure expected to rise.
So, what can having a full licence bring to the table for you in terms of your career?
Studies have found that — outside of lockdown — approximately a third of the UK’s workforce commute by car to work. Having your own mode of transport, whether that’s a used car or a top of the line model, you will open yourself up to more roles, especially those which are tucked away off the beaten track. After all, not all roles are easily accessible by public transport. Having a driving licence means that you don’t have to automatically rule out these positions or consider moving to join the company.
Have you ever thought about the life skills you learn from driving? You aren’t only getting behind a wheel and being able to get from A to B much quicker. Due to driving, you’ll learn various important skills, such as patience, hand-eye coordination, and being able to make on-the-spot decisions. All of these are necessary in driving and are transferrable into your working life too.
It’ll also help you gain a higher level of self-confidence. Learning new skills, whether it’s driving or an online qualification, it’s something to be proud of. After all, more knowledge is often key to progression.
If you read job adverts, many will state a full (clean) driving licence as being a desirable skill. This is because many roles will require you to meet clients, customers or suppliers; having your own car makes this a lot easier. Not needing to rely on others or public transport enables you to be a lot more flexible.
For some roles, a licence is essential. Rob Carr, a postman in Leeds, commented: “I love driving. Without a licence I wouldn’t have landed the job I am in now. It’s allowed me to pick up my life and move to a new location without having the added stress of needing to find a new role.”
Of course, driving has also helped workers who may have lost their jobs due to Covid-19. During lockdown, many people have been forced to shop online and have their goods to be delivered. While many companies are relying on the government’s furlough scheme — which will cost up to £40 billion — others have simply had to make redundancies. Delivery driving has been a way for many to ensure they have kept a steady income, with supermarkets and companies such as Amazon taking on an influx of new drivers.
Also, while there has been lots of talk of fully autonomous cars, this isn’t expected to happen any time soon. Therefore, once we are out of lockdown, the prospects for taxi drivers, delivery drivers, and similar roles aren’t going to be in jeopardy just yet.
So, if you’re looking at ways to move forward in your career and you can’t yet drive, it’s never too late. Look into booking your lessons, pass your test post lockdown, and unleash your dreams. Now is the perfect time to brush up on your theory test, too!