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Chalfont Coaches

Key Benefits

  • A skilled workforce helps secure bids and contracts
  • Improved professionalism and customer care reduces complaints
  • Increased staff motivation

Background

Passenger transport covers 90% of the UK and includes 1.7 million employers according to Go Skills, the Sector Skills Council which leads skills development in the sector. The Taxi (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire) industry has been the subject of an initiative to increase the number of drivers with vocational skills and qualifications, to professionalise the industry and to engage many thousands of drivers in developing their own skills and qualifications.

Chris Shears formed Chalfont Coaches of Harrow Ltd. in 1971. The company was started with a single20110722104154-Chalfont.gif vehicle, and has since progressed through the years to its current fleet of over 20 vehicles of various sizes.

The company originally established its base in Greenford where it remained until the early 1980's. They then moved to their current premises in Southall, where there was considerably more space for their vehicles.

With Chris now looking towards the future, two of his sons have been added to the firm's board of directors, with Ivan running and overseeing the daily business, and Mark taking care of the running of the on-site M.O.T station.

PDM conducted an organisational training needs analysis in order to meet the development need of the company. The Company needed high quality drivers to excel in customer care, customer comfort and customer safety in order to tender for new contracts and obtain repeat business opportunities. Planning and preparation for the training delivery model was vital so as not to interfere with the business.

The Outcome

Since embarking on the training programme with PDM, 12 drivers have completed NVQ Level 2 . The Company Director, Vera Shears, believes that the improvement of driver skills has a big impact on their professionalism and customer care.

Vera believes that the training programme has greatly increased drivers' knowledge and skills. Just as important for the Company, it has also had the effect of improving staff motivation – drivers feel that the Company has shown its commitment to them through the opportunity to take part in the training. The drivers have always offered a good service but now it is a finely polished service resulting in good customer experiences and good feedback. The improved customer experience can be measured by a noticeable decrease in the instances of complaints.

With this training we feel we will be much more successful in bids for lucrative contracts - without having a skilled workforce this would not have been possible This is a win-win situation because the customers are now benefiting from a greatly improved service experience whilst the drivers have had an opportunity to boost their own knowledge and confidence.

Vera Sheers, Company Director, Chalfont Coaches*