Community Transport Driver

The Job and What's Involved

Community transport is a local service for people who cannot easily use other forms of transport, for example the elderly, disabled and schoolchildren.

As a community transport driver, it would be your job to transport passengers door-to-door, similar to a taxi service, or work on regular services like school runs. You might drive cars, minibuses or coaches.

Typical duties include:

  • Planning the best route.
  • Driving the vehicle safely, stopping at designated points.
  • Helping passengers get on and off the vehicle.
  • Performing basic vehicle checks.
  • Keeping the vehicle tidy in between journeys.

You would usually work alongside passenger assistants, under the supervision of a co-ordinator or manager. For more information on this role see the Community Transport Passenger Assistant job profile.

In a full-time job you would normally work around 40 hours a week. Part-time hours may be available, and you may need to be flexible as passengers can require transport from early in the morning, to late in the evening.

Most of your time would be spent in the vehicle, on the move, picking up and dropping off passengers. You may be required to lift and manually handle passengers.

Your employer may provide you with a uniform.

Full-time drivers can earn between £12,000 and £14,000 a year.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

According to GoSkills, this industry employs around 10,000 people in hundreds of different organisations. There are also thousands of volunteers supporting the industry, which is a good way to get experience.

Jobs are advertised in the local press, Jobcentre Plus and on community transport organisation websites.

Some organisations are run by the local authority, so you may find vacancies on local authority websites or the LG Jobs website.

Education and Training

There are no set entry requirements, although most employers tend to look for driving experience and a background in customer care, health care or social work. Some employers may ask for GCSE's in maths and English, or equivalent qualifications.

You will need a full driving licence. Some employers may insist that your licence has no endorsements ('points') on it. You will need to be at least 17 years old to drive smaller minibuses and cars, which only require a standard driving licence.

To drive larger passenger carrying vehicles (PCVs) of more than nine seats, you will need a category D licence. To get this licence you would need to pass further theory and practical driving tests. The minimum age is 18, although you may be restricted in what services you can provide.

For more information about the category D licence, see the driver licensing section of the Directgov website.

You may also need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance. Visit the CRB website for more details.

For more information about careers in community transport, visit the Careers in Passenger Transport website.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you start work you will usually be trained in areas like first aid, disability awareness and duty of care.

Your employer may also encourage you to take the NVQ Level 2 in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving, which has community transport options.

Another option would be to join MiDAS, the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, which aims to promote nationally recognised training standards for minibus drivers.

Alternatively, if you drive vehicles with less than nine seats, you could join the MiDAS Car & MPV scheme. See the CTAUK website for more information about the schemes.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A community transport driver needs:

  • Excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations.
  • Good communication and 'people' skills.
  • An awareness of disability needs.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • Map reading and route planning skills.
  • Patience and empathy with passengers.
  • A reasonable level of fitness.
  • The ability to work well as part of a team.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience, you could progress to operations or service manager.

With the right licence, you could also move into other areas of driving, or with further training, into vehicle maintenance and repair.

Get Further Information

GoSkills, Concorde House,
Trinity Park, Solihull, Birmingham B37 7UQ
Tel: 0121 635 5520
Website:www.goskills.org

Community Transport Association,
Highbank, Halton Street, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 2NY
Tel: 0845 130 6195
Website: www.ctauk.org

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