MORE than 200 taxi drivers have completed a new college course in Sheffield which trains would-be cabbies in customer service.
The course is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Taught at The Sheffield College, it includes education in transporting people with disabilities to combat problems which they sometimes encounter, like being told guide dogs are not allowed in cabs.
It is now mandatory for all potential cabbies to complete the course before they can apply to Sheffield Council for a licence.
Mohammed Miah, aged 38, from Darnall, has successfully completed the qualification and is now working for Mercury Taxis.
He said: “I found the course very useful. I started my job six week ago and the knowledge I have gained has already enabled me to confidently help a wheelchair passenger.”
The BTEC Level 2 Certificate, introduction to the role of the professional taxi and private hire driver, was launched in January.
It is the brainchild of Sheffield Council, delivered at the college’s city campus, and a certificate presentation night was held on Tuesday.
Drivers who lapse in their licence for over a year, and those who have had complaints made about them, can also take the course.
Julie Byrne, principal of Sheffield College, said: “We are committed to providing the vocational courses and skills local employers need.
“I am delighted the college is involved in delivering this qualification, updating the knowledge and skills of Sheffield cabbies.”
Drivers also learn about passenger safety, taxi maintenance and the law. It is backed by Sheffield’s Transport 4 All group and the Sheffield Taxi Trades Association.