FleetMaster Group has developed Young Driver Academy - a pioneering course designed for British Gas to raise the safety standards of its under 25’s van drivers.
The scheme, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, is delivered over a 12 month period through mentored on-the-job sessions and is focussed on developing advanced driving skills. These translate to more competent and safer drivers for the organisation.
Jon York, fleet safety manager at British Gas said: “British Gas is a safety-first organisation and this ethos extends to all areas of the business including road safety. Analysis has shown that our young engineers are at greater risk of vehicle incidents and needed additional support and training to improve safety standards. As a result we asked FleetMaster, our nominated training partner, to design and deliver a tailored programme that would help address the skills gap and make a positive impact on driver safety.”
The British Gas Young Driver Academy includes an induction followed by six on-site visits from a FleetMaster assessor who delivers work-based learning through teaching and coaching. Knowledge assessment and performance is tested in nine key areas of van operation and driving. When the driver has successfully achieved competency in all mandatory areas, a portfolio of work is submitted for external evaluation and certification.
“After 12 months we intend to monitor this group of individuals to ensure they are the safest within the business. We are confident that the Young Driver Academy will have an extremely positive impact on road safety and we expect other organisations to follow our lead,” continued York.
Each driver is graded against 18 elements that include speed and attitude. The benefits of the scheme include developing greater road and hazard awareness, enhanced practical driving skills, the application of pre-use safety checks, driving economically and an emphasis on developing a positive, confident attitude.
“We are incredibly proud to have developed Young Driver Academy for British Gas. It is the largest project of its type in the UK which addresses head-on the challenges faced by young, inexperienced van drivers. It has been enthusiastically received by the audience it serves and we are confident that accident rates will be positively affected as a result,” added Jamie Boocock, director at FleetMaster Group.
The course is certified to Level 2 Driving Goods Vehicle van pathway. It is envisaged that over 600 drivers will embark on the Young Driver Academy training scheme by the end of the year.