An apprenticeship style system being rolled out for truck drivers should be extended to taxi drivers too.
So says Patsy Whelan of Carlow cabs who like many other businesses are struggling to get staff at the moment.
He says many older drivers retired during the pandemic replacing them hasn’t been easy and adds that a shortage of drivers ultimately means a shortage of the car service on the roads.
He told KCLR Live “It’s very hard to get a taxi at peak times and that’s just nationwide, it’s not just Carlow Kilkenny situation, it’s at peak times and don’t forget the late bars haven’t opened yet and the nightclubs haven’t opened yet so that’s going to put a huge strain because a lot of night drivers, traditionally night drivers, are now working days because the days has picked up a lot but you don’t have the late-night trade per se but once that comes back you’re going to have less daytime drivers because a lot of the drivers will go back to nights”.
Meanwhile, he also says he’s not sure why we don’t have many female taxi drivers in Ireland.
Patsy said the flexibility of the job should make it an attractive one to women and he doesn’t think safety concerns are an issue, noting “Cities in the US and the UK they’ll have a much higher crime rate than here and you’ve thousands of female drivers, I’m not sure why it’s not so popular in Ireland but it’s very safe nowadays, everybody has apps on their phones and you just touch a button, you’ve GPS so the other drivers would track you within minutes if you were having an issue but in this area, you don’t get issues, particularly during the day, it’s a very safe job”.