Business News of Monday, 20 February 2017
Source: Francis Asamoah Tuffour
The difficulty associated with the acquisition of jobs in recent times has been hydra headed coupled with chain of interviews that one has to go through. After all the processes, one’s fate can still not be certain considering the number of applicants who appear before a panel to justify why they should be employed.
More on the table of late is the instance where the interviewee is asked if he or she knows how to drive? Such question, though may be seen by many as jovial, harmless or passing comment, can no longer be taken lightly in the advent of global technology.
Why? Most institutions, companies and corporate bodies prefer to employ people who readily know how to drive to save cost considering the fact that employing two or more people to perform the same work is no longer the case because of the current global economic downturn and the need to safeguard resources.
For instance, in the security services, one cannot go on peacekeeping without knowing how to drive. In the Police service specifically, personnel go through vehicle driving test, under the instruction of an officer of the United Nations to assess the capability of the personnel before they are allowed to be part of the selected few to go on the mission.
It is in this direction that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) introduced the Tertiary Drive also known as Tert Drive, to afford tertiary students the opportunity to learn how to drive while in school. The idea, is to ensure that the students graduate with their certificates alongside a genuine driving licence acquired in a hassle-free environment.
The product was developed in response to the growing need of tertiary students to obtain a genuine drivers’ licence before the completion of their respective academic and professional studies. All processes leading to the acquisition of a driving license, such as training, testing, personalisation and issuance of license will be done on campus. The move forms part of the country’s National Road Safety Strategy of improving road safety management, ensuring safer mobility, safer vehicles and safer road-users.
The Tert Drive which has been specially designed for students in tertiary institutions as a means of adding value to their academic and professional qualifications, is affordable, convenient, has a flexible payment plan and is estimated to benefit 150,000 students annually.
The project which was first launched at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra last year has caught up with other institutions such as the Regional Maritime University, Pentecost and UPSA. Besides, proposal on the project has been sent to other tertiary institutions such as the University Ghana, Central University College and the Ghana Institute of Journalism, among others.
As part of the initiative, tertiary institutions are allowed to establish their own driving schools, with the approval of DVLA, or work with DVLA-approved driving schools. The DVLA will support institutions that will take advantage of this product to use their institutions for training. Participating institutions would be required to provide classroom for the theory aspect of the training and a dedicated place for its practical training. The concept offers a complete solution to the acquisition of a genuine driver’s licence and prevent the tendency where applicant fall victim to the activities of “Goro operatives”. Many people, including students, have fallen victim to the activities of unscrupulous middle men (goro boys and girls) who exploit these innocent people thereby enriching themselves.
The move, among others, would give the students added advantage over other competitors who are equally qualified but have no driving skills or driver’s licence and improve the chances of those with licence to grab the job(s). This could best be described, as cutting-edge-approach – that is; acquiring educational qualification and a driver’s licence readily within the same period.
What are the requirements?
To enrol on the programme, a student must be 18 years and above, physically and mentally fit to drive, provide an admission letter, a valid national identification card, including a passport, and a resident permit (in the case of foreign students). Students will pay the exact statutory amount the public pays, which now stands at GH? 240, to get their driver’s licence. They will, however’ enjoy some discount on the GH? 600 which is now paid at some driving schools.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) remains a force to reckon with as a public organisation under Ministry of transport to promote good driving standards and ensure road worthiness.
The Authority’s focus is to ensure best practices for licensing drivers and vehicles to promote road safety and environmental sustainability, while pursuing integrity, excellence, professionalism and reliability in service delivery. Its vision is to become a reputable organisation with internationally accepted standards for driver and vehicle licensing.
Established in 1999 by an Act of Parliament (Act 569) the Authority has gone a step further in its schemes of operation by introducing a number of initiatives including state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate the printing of drivers licenses, state of the art data and customer centres among others.
The writer works in the Public Relations Department of the DVLA