City Cabbies driving up their skills

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Drivers find Road Map to Better Customer Care

BIRMINGHAM taxi and private hire drivers are going the extra mile to offer top quality customer service by picking up new qualifications thanks to a government-backed skills service.

Funded learning and qualifications accessed through national skills service Train to Gain have set dozens of cabbies en route to being ranked top of their trade when it comes to offering passengers ‘added value’ over and above a safe journey to their destination.

Providing access and assistance to people with disabilities, keeping vehicles clean and comfortable and safe handling of heavy luggage are some of the areas covered in the 12-week training programmes at South Birmingham College’s Construction Centre in Bordesley Green.

Mohammad Pandhair, of Erdington, believes the qualifications are a substantial boost to drivers’ self-esteem.

“Some people think taxi drivers are second class citizens,” said the 47-year-old father-of-four, who has been in the trade for nine years.

“This training, and the qualifications that come with it, mean we have a status, recognised by the public and by employers. We have knowledge, skills, pride in the job we do and we have certificates to prove it.”

Keith Selvey, assistant director for transport at South Birmingham College, said the city’s taxi drivers played an important role in “adding value to the city’s economy through good customer service”.

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