With driving tests still suspended across Wales, youngsters in rural communities are missing out on job and training opportunities as the economy begins to re-open.
That’s the warning from Preseli MP Stephen Crabb as he presses the Welsh Government to set a date for re-starting the tests.
In England, the Department for Transport have provided a clear roadmap for when testing can resume – motorcycle compulsory basic training (CBT) from March 29, theory tests from April 12 and car driving tests from April 22. In Wales, there is no timetable or clarity as to when these will start again.
For young people living in rural communities, passing the driving test is a big step towards independence and opens up a wider range of job opportunities especially in the tourism sector.
Commenting on the situation, Stephen Crabb said:
“The backlog of driving tests that has built up from last year continues to grow and we still don’t have any idea when testing will resume. That means an increasing number of Pembrokeshire young people who, in normal times, would have much greater mobility and independence. They are being held back and risk missing out on jobs and training opportunities.”
“I have been contacted by people who have lost work because they could not renew their CBT motorcycle certificates. In a rural area like Pembrokeshire where public transport is limited this can mean the difference between having a job or not.”
“I raised this issue on a call with the local Job Centre Plus team last week. We will likely see another bumper tourism season this year and the cafes and campsites will need staff who will be able to get to work on time.”
“Welsh Government need to give a clear timeframe for when driving tests can restart so young people can start getting on with their lives.”