Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31

НазваниеAnnex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31
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Human Resource Development for a Changing World

Alastair Robertson.


5S Consulting Ltd

Ty’r Wennol.

Croes Faen, Penallt.

Monmouthshire NP25 4SB.

Tel/fax: +44 1600 715781.

Mobile: +44 7774 102 676.



Final Report

Mapping Standards and Qualifications for the Road Passenger Transport Industry

17th December 2003

Table of Contents


Executive Summary 3

Introduction 6

The Passenger Transport Sector 9

Current issues on training and skills 11

Training Supply 14

Qualifications 16

Work Functions in the Passenger Transport Sector 21

Future needs and ideas 23

Conclusions and recommendations 26

Annex 1 List of Respondents to Questionnaire 29

Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30

Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31

Annex 4 Work Functions in the Transport Sector 45

Annex 5 Transport Planning Skills Initiative 52

Annex 6 Private Hire Driver Licensing 56

For further information relating to this research, please contact:

Andy Phillips

Research Manager



Imperial House

15-19 Kingsway

London WC2 6UN

Executive Summary


  1. This report is designed to inform the future development and rationalisation of National Occupational Standards and vocational qualifications by GoSkills on behalf of the Passenger Transport sector. A sector estimated to employ a total of around 1.2 million people. The findings are based on research and feedback covering the bus and coach sector, community transport, taxis, chauffeur and other private hire services including mini-cabs, trams, trolley-buses, driving instruction and transport planning. It excluded aviation, rail and marine transport.

  1. Investigation was based on desk research, structured postal/e-mail questionnaires to representative organisations and major employers in the 4 nations of the UK and dialogue at three consultation workshops (London, Glasgow, and Manchester). Participation was divided fairly evenly between those representing the main professional and trade bodies and major employers – However, the latter came primarily from the bus and coach sector. Although the numbers participating were relatively low, there was consistency in the responses received, suggesting that there is reasonable congruence in the findings.

Characteristics of the sector

  1. The passenger transport sector is comprehensively described in other reports prepared for the licensing of GoSkills as a Sector Skills Council1. The sector is diverse. At one end of the spectrum there are a number of major employers in the bus and (to a lesser extent) the coach field. At the other end there is a predominance of self-employed operators and micro-businesses in areas such as private hire and driving instruction. However, there are many inter-connections between work roles in the various sub-sectors. The exception is transport planning, which is very different in composition and is predominantly a professional discipline.

  1. An increasing proportion of transport operators and their employees are regulated and the private hire sector is now being drawn into this net. Increasingly, regulation has a European dimension and this is also having an impact on the requirements for training and qualifications.

Recruitment and retention

  1. A combination of factors, including rising investment in public transport, falling unemployment levels generally, low wages and sometimes unsocial working conditions that are contributing to high labour turnover and a shortage of drivers in many areas of the industry. Poor image and low status are also factors affecting operatives. The challenge is to meet increased levels of demand for labour and also satisfy rising public expectations for safety and service.

  1. At the professional level there is also a shortage of transport planners, partly because of the priority now being attached by government to improving the transport infrastructure but also for other reasons including supply side shortages and lack of clear career prospects.

  1. In other areas of employment in the sectors surveyed, there appear to be no unusual problems.

Skills Gaps

  1. The two primary issues are firstly: deficiencies in basic literacy and numeracy among operatives that not only create day to day problems in operational efficiency, but also serve as a barrier to access to further training. It affects both new entrants and also the existing workforce.

  1. The second issue, which affects all operational sectors and particularly the self-employed, is the unwillingness of individuals to train beyond the basic requirements for licensing and operation. Participating organisations suggested that there are a range of skills gaps including in particular, customer service and basic business skills (for the self-employed), that remain unfilled as the incentives are lacking and the costs are not perceived as worth it.

Vocational qualifications

  1. In the context of vocational qualifications a distinction must be drawn between qualifications (licences) that are essential to work or trade and awards that reflect a wider spectrum of occupational competence. This study essentially addresses the latter – but lists the former as well.

  1. The sector is not short of available qualifications – around 450 potentially relevant awards have been identified and are listed in Annex 3. However, diversity does not necessarily equate with utilisation. Respondents were not overtly critical of the awards on offer – other than the fact that many went beyond their actual needs. Also, in areas of high self-employment, very few people were interested in qualifications beyond the minimum required to operate.

  1. From those consulted, NVQs and SVQs appear generally as the awards of choice below professional level. There are very few distinctive qualification gaps that GoSkills is not aware of and/or is in the process of filling.

  1. The study reveals that there are significant areas of overlap between awards for some parts of the sector. The analysis of functions at Annex 4 indicates where these are likely to lie and provides a basis for future review and rationalisation. Such overlaps are likely to be even more evident when occupational qualifications for the aviation and marine sectors are analysed.

  1. The structure of existing awards is also in need of review as there is an indicated need for greater flexibility. In particular, allowing SMEs and micro-businesses to simplify and customise awards to their particular needs. In the same context, there is the need for training delivery to be more modular and ‘bite-size’.

Training supply

  1. Supply side problems were only evident in transport planning where there is a forecast rapid expansion in demand and evident regional shortages in training provision in higher education.

  1. Major employers in the bus and coach sector do much of their training in-house and in spite of high labour turnover are less reliant on external provision. The situation for smaller operators is less clear. Generally, there appears not to be a shortage of training providers, however flexibility in training arrangements may well be an issue and more modular and ‘bite size’ courses may be helpful.

  1. Achieving improvements in basic literacy and numeracy skills among operatives is a priority and more needs to be done by the supply side to assist the industry.

  1. Initiatives are underway to tackle some of these issues including the concept of the ‘Passenger Transport Academy’ aimed at improving the status of the sector and driving up interest, recruitment and standards.

Conclusions and recommendations

  1. Addressing the connection between the perceived ‘image’ of employment in the sector and the industry’s ability (or lack of it) to recruit, train and retain key staff appears to lie at the heart of GoSkills’ future strategy for Workforce Development. From a policy standpoint, much can be done to promote the sector as a more ‘joined-up’ industry that offers careers not just jobs - without regulation; but the experience of the construction sector, that faces similar problems, is that more regulation may well be required. Leading this debate may be a significant future challenge for GoSkills.

  1. Developing awards and supply side arrangements that facilitate much greater flexibility (within and across allied transport sectors) and that better reflect the needs of the small as well as the larger operators and the self-employed, must also be high on the agenda. The wider use of VRQs/Technical Certificates in combination with NVQs/SVQs may be a useful way forward here in facilitating credit transfer between sector specific awards, without incurring significant costs. The hospitality, catering and tourism sector has gone down this route and is beginning to see the benefits.

  1. From the evidence of this study, the next phase of National Occupational Standards and Qualifications development for GoSkills should focus primarily on the further rationalisation of awards and on improving flexibility in design and delivery. The functional map offers a framework for such longer-term rationalisation and would benefit from the inclusion of an analysis of the aviation and marine sectors.

  1. The qualifications map in this report offers GoSkills the opportunity to offer the industry a full ‘portfolio’ of available (and recommended) awards – substantially edited down from the 450 listed. Again, the inclusion of relevant aviation and marine transport awards would be helpful. The portfolio could be on line and offer employers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their licensing and qualification needs. To do this it would necessarily need to incorporate awards that cover all grades and levels of staff employed in the industry. The property sector has done this and it has been a successful enterprise.


This research and report was commissioned by TRANSfED during the period of its transition to GoSkills - the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport.

It is intended to inform the development of National Occupational Standards and vocational qualifications for the Passenger Transport sector as TRANSfED translates into a fully licenced SSC and with a broader scope.

Passenger Transport is a sector comprising some 3/4m individuals (1.2 million if the non-salaried community transport component is included). It is a sector of great and growing significance to the UK. It needs a new Sector Skills Council to ensure the sector has the skills available to it to run a world class passenger transport system.

Table 1 – Employment in Passenger Transport in the UK2


No of Employees

Share of Total UK Employment

Bus and coach operators



Taxi, private hire and chauffeur sector employment (including self-employed)



Community Transport

(salaried workers)

500,000 (75,000)



Driving Instruction



UK airlines (world-wide)



Other civil aviation employment



Transport Planning



Total in proposed sector



Total employment in the UK

(including the self-employed)



Included in this study are:

  • Scheduled bus services

  • Coaches (both scheduled and non-scheduled)

  • Community Transport

  • Taxis

  • Chauffeurs and other private hire vehicles

  • Mini-cabs (properly Private Hire Vehicles or PHV)

  • Trams, trolley-buses3

  • Transport Planners

  • Driving Instructors (car, motor cycle, PCV and LGV)4

Not included in this study5 are:

  • Aviation (included in the expression of interest - both cabin service and ground service, but excluding aircraft maintenance)

  • Trains (both heavy rail and metro/underground rail operators – not included in the expression of interest)

  • Other light rail (not included in the expression of interest)

The aim of this project has been to identify standards and qualifications within and outside Qualifications framework throughout the four nations of the UK for the bus and coach sector, taxi and private sectors, trams, all categories of driving instructor, and the transport planning profession. The intention has been to achieve the broadest possible footprint.

In detail, the five objectives of this project are:

Objective 1: To provide a listing of all road passenger transport, transport planning and driving instructor qualifications relevant to the bus and coach, taxi, private hire, trams, driving instructors and transport planning sectors.

Objective 2: To provide a listing of all non-transport qualifications of relevance to the sectors/sub-sectors and their business managers and directors.

Objective 3: To investigate and report upon the relationship of these qualifications to Qualification Frameworks.

Objective 4: To provide indications of new standards and qualifications of relevance to the industry that are likely to come on stream over the next 1-3 years

Objective 5: To identify noticeable gaps in standards and qualifications that might in due course be filled by TRANSfED/ GoSkills and Awarding Bodies


The process involved has been as follows:

  1. To review existing qualifications within and of relevance to road transport

A desk research exercise, drawing data from the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) and SCQF, the Scottish equivalent6)

  1. To conduct key informant interviews

This has been done through a combination of activities including: consultation workshops in Glasgow, London and Manchester; face to face interviews with key individuals; and the wide distribution of e-questionnaires.

  1. To prepare Draft Final Report

  1. To consult on the Draft Final Report recommendations

  1. To prepare and present Final Report

Collaboration and support has been substantial from the consultees with whom we have worked. There are many others with whom we might have consulted if resources had allowed. However, we are confident that we have captured a reasonable and representative cross-section of interested organisations and that their responses have been sufficiently consistent for the outputs to be reliable.

Inevitably there will be some gaps in data, particularly as the world of qualifications does not stand still and new awards are being developed on a regular basis and old ones are being withdrawn from use or revised as their currency declines.

The scope of qualifications relevant to the industry must also remain an open debate. Our concern, and that of employers in the sectors involved, has not only been with those awards that relate to the core activities in passenger transport – driving and the maintenance, scheduling and control of vehicles, but also with the many others that apply to work roles that support the industry, including management, customer service and so on.

Our research has confirmed earlier TRANSfED data on driver shortages that are very serious for the industry and that potentially put at risk the Government’s 10 year Transport Plan. It has also revealed worrying gaps in basic skills within the workforce that not only impact on current capability but also form a barrier to upskilling those in employment.

On the positive side, there appear to be many opportunities for greater convergence in qualifications for the sector and the opening up of career pathways that might attract more recruits to an industry that offers careers not just jobs.

The Passenger Transport Sector

The group of sectors to be embraced by the emerging GoSkills initiative have a variety of expectations as to what this project will deliver. From the workshops, held in Glasgow, London and Manchester, it was clear that GoSkills is seen as the ‘filter’ for major sectoral issues. These include:

  • Providing an all-level agenda, which means that a partnership needs to be established between GoSkills and the professional bodies, as well as the trades bodies, to address a wide range of matters, including CPD.

  • National targets, including gender balance and other social inclusion issues and help sectors deal with an ageing workforce

GoSkills has a role to play in quantifying and ensuring adequacy of resources relating to qualifications and other skills related issues (ensuring the balance and quality of supply/demand).

To a significant extent, labour market issues have overshadowed this study. In the bus and coach sector in particular, driver turnover rates are running at up to 30% p/a and these figures repeat around the UK.

Recruitment drives are finding it hard to keep pace

There is currently a worrying lack of transport planners. There are about 10,000 transport planners employed in the UK, and that number is expected to grow by about 5% a year until at least 2005. Given the need to replace those who retire and move to other careers, there is an overall need for about 900 new entrants a year. This is under current review and the issues are summarised in a recent report7.

Too many driving instructors are also thought to be leaving the sector on qualification. These leakages need to be stemmed and the way forward is complex. It is not just about low pay, but also about status. Greater professional recognition within the sector itself might help, as would greater clarity on the routes to professional recognition. More transparency regarding career paths would also be helpful in attracting and retaining labour.

Supply/demand balance is out of step. Caused by lower unemployment rates and traditional source of drivers lost. Result: employers put every effort into retain existing staff but self evidently, with bus and coach drivers they are not being successful.

The gender balance generally in the sector is weighted towards male employment and in driving instruction in particular, only 14% are Women. There was, for example, a call from workshop delegates to look at how more women could be brought into Community Transport, for example, to alleviate labour shortage problems.

The age profile also gives concern in parts of the sector. In driving instruction again, 43% of instructors are over 50.

In many areas, particularly coach and bus, labour shortages are exacerbated by low wages, unsocial hours and sometimes, personal risks and bad behaviour from passengers.

Employment patterns are very different. 98% of driving instructors are self-employed, whereas in community transport and trams it is the reverse.

The size of company in the sector also varies enormously with some extremely large companies such as Translink in Northern Ireland, employing 3,000 or more. In private hire, by contrast, most are micro-businesses or SMEs.

The sector has seen increasing UK and EU regulation over recent years affecting both operations, vehicles and the qualifications of employees. Regulation is a cost to employers and to customers and has limited the profitability of many parts of the sector. Inevitably this has meant that training investment has not been high and a given reason for skills gaps in the existing workforce.

In summary, the industry is highly differentiated in size and the characteristics of its sectors’ workforce. There is an anxiety that GoSkills may be led down the track of monotype solutions to training and skills. (By inference – favouring the needs of larger employers) Questionnaire respondents and workshop participants were quite clear that this would not work.

Current issues on training and skills

Emerging from both the written responses to the questionnaires and from the consultation workshops around the UK were a number of individual comments on training and skills. An abstract of relevant issues and comments are set out below.

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Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31 iconAnnex I

Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31 iconAnnex I

Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31 iconAnnex a project brief

Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31 iconAnnex 2: Bibliography

Annex 2 Participation in Workshop consultations 30 Annex 3 Qualifications relevant to the Passenger Transport Sector 31 iconAnnex 1: Consolidated Recommendations

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