DVSA launches second recruitment effort for driving test examiners to tackle backlog
Testing agency looks to hire more than 100 more staff in key regions
The body responsible for driving tests has started a second recruitment drive for examiners in a bid to help ease the massive backlog of tests caused by the Covid pandemic.
Earlier this year the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVSA) announced it wanted to recruit more examiners to administer practical driving tests around England, Scotland and Wales.
It has since started training 78 new examiners and offered roles to another 119 applicants, with the first new recruits expected to start carrying out tests by August.
However, with more than 450,000 driving tests cancelled due to Covid and limits on the number of tests examiners can carry out each day, the DVSA still faces a shortage in a number of regions and some students are having to wait months to sit their test.
As a result of this it has announced a second wave of recruitment in several areas as well as measures to speed up the training process.
In total, it is trying to recruit 109 more instructors, including part-time staff, in London and South-East England; East England and the East Midlands; South and South-West England; Manchester and Cardiff.
Candidates will earn £26,126 a year and must be aged 23 or over, have held a UK or EU driving licence continuously for the last three years and have no more than three penalty points on their licence.
In the wake of the first lockdown and subsequent restrictions, the DVSA has come under fire for its handling of driving tests. Among issues it has faced are calls to extend theory test validity and to offer more tests in the evening and at weekends.
The recruitment drive is part of a package of measures the agency says it has put in place to address these issues.
It has also announced changes to the training programme to speed it up. Parts of the course have been moved online, and regional training centres established to get examiners into work sooner.