A former factory worker who struggled to find work during the pandemic says his life changed for the better after becoming a taxi driver in Newcastle.
Simon Goodfellow recently graduated as a driver for Budget Taxis after becoming fed up with hourly work and temporary factory contracts.
The 47-year-old joined the Hadrian Road, Newcastle-based firm just before Christmas after reading the recruitment call on ChronicleLive.
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“With Covid, I haven’t worked for about eight or nine months,” Simon said.
“I was doing factory work, which was often temporary, but it was difficult during the Covid pandemic because I was at work and out of work.
“So this job has been really good for me. “
This is Simon’s first time working as a taxi driver and before heading out on the road he completed a week of training at the company’s Newcastle office and passed a locality test.
Budget Taxis says that drivers, like Simon, are given a new car and the company pays the expenses, including insurance, repairs and license plates for taxis issued by the council.
The company also covers training and medical costs and organizes DBS checks.
Simon, from Ponteland, pays £ 190 a week for his vehicle and says he can make a lot of money from his previous jobs.
“The money you can make is very good, especially during the Christmas period, but I have found that [the work still] is not dead, “he said.
“Over the Christmas period I made around £ 2,000 in a week, but you have to take into account that I worked on Christmas Day and other bits and pieces.”
For Simon, work has changed his life and he says he doesn’t regret taking the leap by applying.
He continued, “It definitely changed my life.
“Being your own boss, you can’t beat it.
“If you want a day off, you can have a day off. You can just work a few extra hours to make up for it.
“There is a lot of work and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
“If you’re a nice enough person and enjoy driving, you shouldn’t have any problems.”
David Singh, head of customer service at Budget Taxis, said the company has hired around 120 drivers since it launched its recruiting campaign in September last year.
“We are really happy with the response from the campaign,” said David.
“Some of our drivers have worked in warehouses or retailers that have closed and some of them have worked for struggling energy companies, so they come from all walks of life. “
However, the company is still looking to hire around 500 additional drivers to meet customer demand.
David said the company wanted to employ female taxi drivers and stressed that all taxis have an emergency panic button.
David continued, “Customers are always disappointed with the lack of drivers, but we do our best to get the job done on time.
“Some work is late, so we would like to apologize to customers and ask them to kindly support us. “
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]
Applicants must be aged 18 and over with a valid UK driving license.
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