This afternoon the joint associations of NASP sent this letter to various members of the Scottish Government including the First Minister as well as the Chief Executive of DVSA, I thought you may like to view it.
I am writing as Chair, and on behalf, of the National Associations Strategic Partnership – the steering group, and key consultative stakeholder group, for the driver and rider training industry.
In light of the Scottish government’s continuing refusal to allow driver testing to resume in Scotland (regardless of the fact it has now resumed in England and Wales) we are seeking feedback on what financial support measures trainers in Scotland are able to access in order to support themselves and their families as they continue to suffer from a lack of income – with no confirmed line of sight as to when they will be able to generate income again.
Whilst there are many trainers who have, and will be able to continue to tap into the SEISS, there are a number of new entrants to the industry who do not qualify for such support, as there are a number of limited companies who also do not qualify for this support. Indeed, there are also those who cannot access Universal Credit.
We also have members who have used the furlough scheme for their employees, is there any extra help to be offered now that this scheme is being reduced?
Being amongst those stakeholders who have directly advised DVSA (and developed advice for the industry) on the resumption of testing and training in England and Wales, we are very much aware of the risks of in-vehicle training and testing in the context of COVID-19, just as we are aware of the measures that can be taken to mitigate those risks. It is our opinion that, following safe training protocols developed by organisations like ourselves and DVSA, much can be done to manage the risks and exposure and could allow training and testing to resume.
Therefore we ask the First Minister and her advisors to consider, at least, outlining a target date (as Northern Ireland has done) on which DVSA and driver trainers in Scotland can look to resume services, and work to prepare for.