Friday, 20th February, 2015
12 week driver licence test booking delay – “Is unacceptable and denying young people the opportunity to get a job”
Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce was commenting on the Chamber’s experience that shows there are no available spaces for practical tests for Restricted and Full licences in Manukau, Penrose, Meadowlands and Pukekohe between now and 30th April, and VTNZ are not taking bookings beyond the 1st May.
“That is totally unacceptable. Around 70% of job vacancies require an applicant to have a drivers licence,” said Mr Barnett. “Employers can’t be expected to wait three months for someone to get a licence – that job opportunity will go elsewhere.
“What makes this worse is that many young people are driving around Auckland without a licence. When they get caught, they can’t pay the fine and it makes it harder for them to get a job.
“I am incredulous that NZTA has apparently not anticipated an increase in demand for driver training when on 1st December a law change was made requiring a driver sitting their learner or restricted licences to progress to the next stage within five years, and anyone who fails to do so will have to go back and sit another theory test.”
In mid-2014 the wait time to do a practical test was four weeks. At the start of this year it was eight weeks. “Stretching the waiting time out to May at the earliest makes a mockery of efforts by organisations, including within government, seeking to solve Auckland’s high youth unemployment by giving them the opportunity to gain job-ready skills,” said Mr Barnett.
He called for agencies responsible to sort out the problem with speed and urgency.