Revealed: 180 Ipswich taxi drivers fail to complete mandatory training on dementia, disabilities and sexual exploitation

PUBLISHED: 13:59 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 30 November 2017

Deadline extended for taxi training after 180 drivers fail to do course. Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

Deadline extended for taxi training after 180 drivers fail to do course. Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The deadline for taxi drivers to complete mandatory training on child sexual exploitation, dementia awareness and disability has been extended after more than 180 have failed to do the training.

In March, Ipswich Borough Council’s licensing and regulatory committee introduced the mandatory training for all existing and new taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.

The deadline to complete the training is January, but it has emerged that while 378 have done it, 180 remaining drivers have failed to do the course.

The borough council this morning decided to extend the deadline to the end of March, but has warned drivers to take the test or risk losing their licences.

A borough council spokesman said: “Nearly 400 have done it but the remaining group, which is still a large group, has not.

“The sub-committee has extended the deadline to the end of March, and will have to pay for new training dates in January, February and March.

“The committee and operations manager will then decide what happens to those who still haven’t done it.

“We urge all the remaining drivers to take the opportunity because we expect them to do that, and we will be urging them in the next newsletter they get in the next few weeks.”

The course, which is carried out by Skills UK, did have some funding in place, but this has now elapsed which means drivers yet to take the test will have to pay.

Additional sessions on English, maths, British values and radicalisation were also offered, but not mandatory.

It is expected that some drivers will not choose to renew their licence, but those who do not and still wish to operate could face having their licence suspended until they do.

The committee’s report for today’s meeting said there were even “two drivers who have contacted the council because they refuse to take the course, despite being aware that they will be referred to the hackney carriage and private hire enforcement sub committee.”

The report added: “It is unfortunate that the funding opportunity expired before all drivers had undertaken the course, however, a significant number of drivers have undertaken the course and many of these funded it themselves.”

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