Business

New employment academy to create 20 taxi jobs in Belfast

Cllr Ciaran Beattie, Belfast City Council, Stephen Savage, general manager, Belfast Taxis CIC and driver Sean McCarthy launch the new Belfast Taxi Bus Service Employment Academy, which will create up to 20 taxi bus driver jobs.
Gareth McKeown

UP to 20 taxi driver jobs are set to be created in Belfast as part of an innovative new council scheme

The Belfast Taxi Bus Service Employment Academy, a partnership between between Belfast City Council and Belfast Taxis Community Interest Company (CIC), is aimed at those who are currently unemployed or working under 16 hours a week.

The new academy will provide tailored training, which meets industry requirements and will expand Belfast Taxis CIC's community based public hire transport service.

Chair of the council's city growth and regeneration committee, Mairéad O'Donnell said the aim of the project is to "create employment and opportunity".

"We know that the main barrier that stops people becoming black taxi drivers is the expense of getting a licence. So I'm delighted that our new Belfast Taxi Bus Service Employment Academy will not only deliver the training required, but it will also cover the cost of the training and the qualification.”

Those who complete academy training will then be able to apply for taxi bus driver vacancies with Belfast Taxis CIC. The academy will also provide tourism-related training for six existing drivers, giving them the opportunity to upskill as minibus and coach drivers and to deliver tours so that they benefit from Northern Ireland's growing tourism industry.

A drop-in meet the employer event is scheduled for Thursday, February 1 at An Culturlann on the Falls Road and all those who are interested in the academy are asked to attend. The event, running from 10am to 4pm, will provide key information on the 20 jobs available and undertake initial interviews to select people for the academy. For more information, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/employability.

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