Budget Taxis is seeking to employ 500 drivers after losing much of its staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an effort to attract new hires, the Newcastle-based company has pledged to pay for new driver training and will even cover the cost of obtaining city council license plates.
The main recruitment drive comes after hundreds of the company’s older drivers decided to quit or retire when the pandemic struck last year.
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Now, as the city begins to return to some form of normalcy, following the easing of restrictions, Budget Taxis is struggling to keep up with demand after receiving âthousandsâ of calls from customers every day.
Owner David Singh said: “Many of our older drivers left with Covid hand luggage and returned their plates to Newcastle City Council.
“They retired because they were scared and just didn’t want to do the job and now there is a shortage of drivers.”
David, 60, said drivers would not have to pay anything as the company covered all start-up costs, which amount to around Â£ 500 per driver.
He continued, âWe will pay for all badges and medical care.
“If someone has a car, we’ll prepare it for them and pay all the expenses for that side.
“If they don’t have a car, we’ll put them in a car and give them the badges for free.”
The company, which already has 500 drivers, is looking for people aged 18 and over with a valid UK driving license.
No experience is necessary as the firm, headquartered on Hadrian Road, Newcastle, will provide training and help candidates pass what David calls a “brief” exam.
But carrying passengers in the Northeast isn’t the only driving job available for newcomers.
When jobs declined in March 2020 due to the pandemic, Budget Taxis began providing delivery service for the Hermes parcel company and food deliveries for the cooperative.
The company says the drivers are also working with the Newcastle NHS Trust to deliver blood to hospitals in the city.
Now, with the government’s leave program slated to end at the end of the month, David fears an increase in unemployment and hopes that the labor supply, with all training and costs covered, will give people hope. people worried about their future.
David, who started the business about 20 years ago with his late friend Eddie Binks, said: âA lot of people get paid and when the leave program ends at the end of September a lot of people will lose their jobs.
“I hope this brings good news to people, keeps them calm and lets them know that there are still jobs and that we are here to help them.”
Newcomers can start work within three weeks of applying after completing the training.
Meanwhile, those who have a badge but need a car can start work in a matter of hours because the company has purchased a fleet of vehicles.
With demand growing, taxi boss David said working days are just as lucrative as working nights.
The drivers are also self-employed and can choose their hours.
âDrivers can earn up to Â£ 1,000 a week – the work is so busy,â he said.
“You can choose what time you want to go to work and finish at what time you want to finish.
“You can do any shift you want to do because it’s so busy day and night.”
The company said Covid safety measures are being followed with screens installed in all cars to separate passengers and drivers.
A free uniform is also provided if drivers choose to wear one.
Addressing the disruption during the recruiting process, David added, “We want to apologize to clients who have suffered due to the driver shortage.”
Anyone wishing to apply to become a Budget Taxi Driver should contact David Singh with his name and contact number on 07566741675 or via email at [email protected] The company will then contact you to set up an informal conversation.
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