RAC Foundation: Driving as an employment qualification

Young people are already under a great degree of pressure to pass any number of academic exams which, they are told, will influence their future employment prospects.

However, there is one test that is sat outside of the examination hall which they might do well to consider taking also: the driving test.

Latest analysis by the RAC Foundation shows that almost one in five (19%) adverts on the government’s Find a Job database say that applicants must be able to drive.

A look at the official apprenticeship database reveals that here too driving can be a distinct advantage, with one in twelve (8%) of the positions on offer requiring the applicant to have a car or licence.

According to the government’s National Travel Survey the percentage of all adults (17 and over) in England who hold a full driving licence is 74%, the highest level ever.

For those aged 17-20 it is 30%, a proportion that has remained reasonably stable for the past four or five years though is down from the mid-30s seen at the start of the decade and a peak of 48% recorded in the early 1990s.

The Survey reveals the main reason (26%) for not learning to drive amongst those aged 17-20 is the cost of doing so, though 17% say it is because they are not interested in doing so, a percentage that has been on the rise.

Previous work by the Foundation has shown how important a car is in getting to work (some three out of five people drive or get a lift to the office). Now this study reinforces how crucial a car can be in getting that work in the first place.

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