Youth driver training wanted

Seen as a boost for employment prospects

Teaching secondary school students how to drive as part of their educational curriculum would help them find eventual employment, the District of Houston council has told education minister Rob Fleming.

And they’d be more able to participate in everyday activities, council adds in a letter sent to the minister.

The topic of school-based driver education was first raised by council members in a meeting with advanced education minister Melanie Mark who said the issue would be best raised with Fleming.

“By acting to increase the accessibility of drivers’ education, Council may facilitate increased levels of workforce participation y enabling the ability of working age people to physically access the labour force,” a briefing note prepared for council indicated in advance of a letter to Fleming being sent.

The note pointed out that there are are no regularly operating taxi or community buses in Houston and only limited transportation options for those who work in neighbouring communities.

“In addition, the harsh winter weather that Northern communities are prone to experience limit a person’s ability to walk themselves to places, especially for those who already experience other accessibility issues.”

The council briefing note also noted there was no financial aid available to students.

“Currently, there is one private driver’s licence education school in Houston for youth drivers to obtain their Class 5 or Class 7 licence,” a briefing note for council indicated. “These lessons are priced at $60 an hour, meaning that many youths are unable to afford and access this training that is critical for transportation needs, independence and socio-economic advancement in the North.”

“This acts as a barrier for youth, keeping many trapped in a cycle of poverty and excluding them from full social participation in adulthood.”

The letter to Fleming advocates driver’s education training not only for School District 54, but for across the north.