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New approach to young driver training

Student/graduate driver training

Eurovia UK introduce new training programme for young graduates and student placement drivers

AS part of an ongoing commitment to road-risk management, Eurovia UK have been piloting a new approach to young driver training following a review of the experiences of young graduate and student placement drivers who joined the company in 2018.

Recognizing that many of this intake had not driven commercial vehicles before, the company has designed a programme to ensure this year’s intake of young drivers are both confident and capable.

In June, the company introduced a driver assessment as part of its induction process for graduates and work placement students. The assessments, which include support and guidance, are used to determine who may need further training. In some cases, this has meant implementing alternative travel arrangements.

The first assessments took place in June, with initial feedback showing that some drivers had not long passed their driving tests, had not used fifth gear before or driven on a motorway. As a consequence, they were under-prepared for driving company cars and small commercial vehicles in operational environments.

The assessments and training were designed by David Binding, business director for Eurovia UK, who has responsibility for leading the student/graduate scheme, and Anja Reid, operations support manager for Eurovia Contracting, who manages the operation of the scheme.

Both assessment and training are being delivered by R3 Road Risk Reduction, who have been working with Eurovia UK for the past four years on other driver skills initiatives. In June 2019, this successful partnership won the CIHT Skills and Training Award for Ringway’s Winter Driving Training course.

Driver assessments at the inductions for the 2019 student/graduate intake have been held in June, July and August, with further assessments planned for the inductions on 2 September, 1 October and 13 January next year.

To date, 17 graduate and placement students have been assessed, with three requiring further training. They have attended one-to-one full-day extended training sessions with the R3 lead assessor at one of the company’s operational depots. The day includes talks, skills practice and motorway driving to improve their skills and confidence before being issued with a company vehicle.

David Binding said: ‘We realized that we had sometimes assumed that our graduates and student placement drivers had the necessary skills to drive company vehicles. We decided to offer training to all our young drivers, even those just with us for summer placements, as part of our investment in employees.

‘They are learning skills that will stay with them for life. The driver assessments have enabled us to make better-informed management decisions and to manage road risk more effectively as a company.’

Placement engineer Emma Silverwood said: ‘It was a beneficial experience as I learnt how commercial vehicles work with speed restrictions and the differences between driving a car and a van. I was able to build my confidence, starting in a car park and then driving on a motorway.’

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