Driving licence essential for many job-seekers

One in six job applications requires a driving licence.

One in six job applications requires a driving licence. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

The importance of job-seekers being able to drive has been highlighted by new research.

Almost one in six jobs require the applicant to hold a driving licence, according to motoring research charity the RAC Foundation.

Analysis of the 847,000 vacancies in Britain listed by the Department for Work and Pensions found that for 131,000 having a vehicle or holding a licence was necessary for the post.

The professions that required applicants to have the ability to drive varied widely, from hairdresser and electrician to zoo worker and business development manager.

Previous research by the RAC Foundation found that 58% of workers in England and Wales drive themselves to work.

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Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that the proportion of 17 to 20-year-old males holding a full car driving licence in England fell from 50% to 34% in the two decades to 2014, while the decline for females of the same age was from 36% to 25%.

The main reason given by young people for not learning to drive is cost, according to a DfT study.

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Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'When it comes to applying for many jobs and training positions the practical skill of being able to drive is often as critical as any GCSE or A-level.

'This country relies on millions of nomadic workers who work all hours of the day and night and rarely, if ever, sit at a desk.

'They include tradespeople, carers and cleaners, and if this economic army is to be kept mobile then we must ensure that not only is learning to drive affordable but so too is buying and running a car.'

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