The Young Driver Academy is an innovative 12-month apprenticeship scheme devised and delivered by Fleetmaster for one of its clients, a major utilities company.
The programme was designed for drivers under the age of 25 who drive a company van as part of their daily work. Most were not employed as drivers but needed to drive to and between appointments in order to carry out their core work tasks.
Through a programme of ‘on the job’ training and assessment, the Young Driver Academy is aimed at improving overall driving standards, and therefore improve road safety and health & safety in the workplace. Young drivers gain good driving behaviours and a positive attitude towards driving, which not only helps them to become safer on the roads, but also enhances their customer service skills; this leads to a better overall experience for the customer, which in turn has a positive effect on the client’s reputation.
Upon successful completion of the course, learners gain a nationally recognised vocational qualification.
After completing a two-hour induction to explain the programme’s content, learners work through nine units, including route planning, safe driving manoeuvres and operating and monitoring van systems. Allowing drivers to identify their training needs, and demonstrate their understanding. Teaching, coaching and assessment takes place in six learning visits, lasting approximately half a day.
“Assessors identify priorities and set SMART targets linked to the safe, compliant and efficient operation of the vehicle, and these are re-addressed after every visit.”
Learners are assessed twice on their driving performance, to ensure that they are making progress and are gaining understanding. They are given a rating for risk and their fuel consumption is recorded to give a benchmark against which their future performance can be measured.
The Young Driver Academy uses telematics systems to record data that can be used to tailor the training package to suit the needs of every trainee. To monitor how each young driver is progressing, ‘live’ statistics are used to evaluate how training has helped to improve any particularly problematic areas. Assessors identify priorities and set SMART targets linked to the safe, compliant and efficient operation of the vehicle, and these are re-addressed after every visit.
Three months after completing the course, drivers are enrolled on the YDA Excellence course to ensure that improvements in driving ability are maintained.
More than 1,000 young drivers under the age of 25 have graduated from the programme, resulting in a reduction of client insurance claims between 2015 and 2016. Other results include a 14% improvement in fuel economy and a 22% improvement in telematics scores over the entire programme.
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