A taxi firm is taking people from the dole queue onto the roads thanks to a driver training academy.
Wallsend-based Blueline has launched a driver academy in partnership with Northumberland College and a number of training providers.
An initial 19 owner-drivers have graduated from the academy in the past few weeks with a further 21 expected to qualify once various checks have been approved.
Ian Shanks, managing director of Blueline Taxis, said: “We wanted to set something up that would not just give people a qualification but the guarantee of work.
“That’s why we partnered with Northumberland College to set up the academy because we want to see people move away from welfare and into work with no cost at all to the participants.”
Training is delivered over three weeks at Blueline’s headquarters with plans for a new facility in Newcastle.
Richard Naisbitt, course leader for transport at Northumberland College, said: “Driver training qualifications have existed for a while but this is the first time we have delivered the course in partnership with a taxi firm.”
For more about the academy call (0191) 209 8010.