Supply of skills

Skellefteå cooperation that strengthens skills

Solvik Folk High School and Skellefteå Taxi developed a new and compressed taxi driver training course to meet the growing need for staffing in the region. Now they are getting ready for the spring semester's new course participants, and continue the successful collaboration.

- This training is rooted in reality and what the job actually looks like. For us, it was valuable to be able to participate in the design of the course and contribute with our knowledge, says Sofie Strömberg, HR manager at Skellefteå Taxi.

It is in the middle of Friday's rush hour traffic when we meet at Skellefteå Taxi's coordination station on Morö Backe, and the company's booking service is hot. With Skellefteå's rapid growth, the pressure on the region's transportation businesses is increasing, and Skellefteå Taxi is no exception. But to facilitate recruitment activities, the company has dared to invest in a collaboration that really stands out.

- We wanted to find a way to reach out widely and create conditions for more people to train as taxi drivers. When we were given the opportunity to help develop a new course, we jumped at the chance, says Sofie Strömberg, HR manager at Skellefteå Taxi.

Started with an industry council

The initiative started in the fall of 2023 when Skellefteå municipality's business office called for an industry council with all the region's bus and taxi companies.

- For us, networking is an important part and we met to discuss common challenges in the industry. We concluded that taxi driver training could be relevant to facilitate the skills supply challenge. Here we found an opportunity to connect Solvik Folk High School with Skellefteå Taxi, which together quickly developed a compressed education adapted to today's needs, says Hanna Vallmark, business developer at Skellefteå municipality.

And it happened quickly. From the first meeting in early August, it was only a few weeks before the first students started the theory course. An eight-week taxi driver training course divided into four weeks of theory and four weeks of practice, where the practical elements were carried out together with Skellefteå Taxi. After Christmas, three finished drivers were on duty, with more on the way shortly. Applicants are entitled to apply for CSN during the course, and for long-distance course participants there are opportunities for accommodation at Solvik's student home.

- This is the strength of the folk high school format, we have the experience and structure in place to effectively develop a new course format, says Emma Wikblad, study and career counselor at Solvik Folk High School.

An anchored education

As a teacher, Mamish Koumar was recruited who has a past as both a driving school teacher and as a taxi driver at Skellefteå Taxi.

- He has done a fantastic job, finding the right teacher was a prerequisite for being able to carry out the training, says Emma Wikblad.

For Skellefteå Taxi, it was important that the training was rooted in reality and the need for support and service offered in connection with the company's runs.

- Many people think of taxi drivers as someone who just picks you up at the airport or drives you home from the restaurant, but the majority of our runs are contractual customers such as the municipality. This may involve passengers who need extra support and assistance. Being a good taxi driver is about much more than driving a car, says Sofie Strömberg.

Challenge to reach out

The last day to apply for the spring course is March 17, shortly, and many have already applied. But reaching out to potential participants in the first round of training posed greater challenges.

- You have to be aware that putting a course together requires hard work, flexibility and a lot of marketing. It also involves an investment, buying study materials, recruiting a teacher, and extensive advertising to attract students to the industry and the course. "After the first course, more people have opened their eyes to the Taxi Driver Training in Solvik and it's fantastic that they have succeeded so well, says Hanna Vallmark.

Although Skellefteå Taxi is involved in developing the training and contributes with practical elements, there are no requirements or expectations that course participants will apply to this particular taxi company after completing the training.

- For us, it is most important that more people become aware of the profession and its opportunities. It is a short course that provides good opportunities to go directly into work. During the practical elements, everyone gets the opportunity to meet our drivers and get a true picture of the job, says Sofie Strömberg.


Senast uppdaterad:
11 March 2024