Study finds driving licenses are a ‘crucial qualification’ to help get a job

Study finds driving licenses are a ‘crucial qualification’ to help get a job
A new study from the RAC Foundation has found that more than one in six jobs being advertised in the UK requires applicants to be able to have a driving licence.

Analysis of the research revealed that in the first week of October 2023 a total of 1,092,172 recruitment ads were posted on the job vacancy aggregator site Adzuna.

Out of those adverts, 189,608 – or 17.4% – ‘explicitly or implicitly required those applying to have at least a standard driving licence’.

All of these recruitment ads stated that a licence was needed because they were either specifically for a driver, or they would be required to drive during their employment, or a vehicle was needed to get to work every day due to reduced accessibility by public transport and location.

The RAC Foundation’s data highlighted some trends regarding the need a licence when applying for a job.

Their report highlighted the percentage of adverts requiring a licence in the same week in October in the eight years from 2016 to 2023.

According to the results, the Foundation stated: “Whilst the highest proportion of jobs requiring the ability to drive was seen in 2020 at the height of the pandemic (120,190 out of 611,702, or 19.6%) the proportion for 2023 was still higher than in any of the four years pre-Covid.”

The research from the RAC Foundation also looked into the types of job adverts that are most likely to require a driving licence.

Using specific occupation categories as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were some interesting results.

Which jobs will most likely require a driving licence?

According to the ONS data, these are the jobs that will require a driving licence (not including driving jobs):

  1. Plumbers and heating and ventilating installers and repairers – 67.5%
  2. Vehicle technicians, mechanics, and electricians – 64.4%
  3. Estate agents and auctioneers – 58.5%
  4. Vehicle and parts salespersons and advisers – 51%
  5. Metal working production and maintenance fitters – 41.7%

Which jobs will least likely require a driving licence?

Out of the 30 job adverts highlighted in the research, these are the five least likely listings where you will be required to have a driving licence:

  1. Chefs – 7.3%
  2. Other registered nursing professionals – 7.5%
  3. Advertising and marketing associate professionals – 10.3%
  4. Customer service occupations (not classified elsewhere) – 10.6%
  5. Human resources and industrial relations officers – 10.6%

The Foundation’s research summarised that the sectors least likely to require job applicants to have the ability to drive were teaching and education; culture, media and sport; and secretarial and administrative.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Our research shows that when it comes to getting work a driving licence can be a crucial qualification. Little wonder official figures show that about 45% of all driving tests conducted during 2022-23 involved candidates aged 20 or younger.

“Despite the predictions of a post-pandemic work-from-home legacy the data suggests that when it comes to driving as an employment qualification, things today look very similar to what they did before Covid struck.

“If anything, the one in six headline figure underestimates the importance of being able to drive for roles in locations, or with shift patterns, that make them inaccessible by public transport.

“Many of those job ads which list a driving requirement are in relatively poorly-paid sectors, such as the caring profession – something the chancellor should have in mind when making decisions that influence the cost of motoring and which impact on those who are already struggling to pay for the transport they can’t do without.

“It is unsurprising that the proportion of employers looking for people to be able to drive reached a peak during the pandemic, when we came to fully appreciate how key our truckers and delivery drivers are to daily life.”

What do you make of the RAC Foundation’s findings? Leave your comments below.

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