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Training future drivers with electric hybrids

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Toyota New Zealand is providing the Manfeild based National Driver Training Centre with three Toyota Prius plug-in electric hybrids (PHVs) for use in their driver training programme.

The programme is focused on increasing the number of secondary school pupils attaining a restricted licence, while providing NCEA credits and a defensive driving qualification to make them more employable when entering the workforce.

“This programme, aimed at getting well trained, suitably qualified young drivers onto our roads, is a fantastic initiative, especially considering the lower numbers of secondary school students with an appropriate licence,” said Andrew Davis, the General Manager of Marketing for Toyota New Zealand.

“We have loaned these vehicles to the National Driver Training Centre to support them in this great community initiative.”

“The Prius PHVs are the kind of technology that will become increasingly common in the future, so getting drivers used to its operation makes sense.”

Mr Davis said formal driver training also made for safer drivers.

The new government has pledged to make driver education more accessible to enable school leavers to travel to and from jobs and make them more employable.

Recent surveys have found only 44 per cent of all 18 to 24-year-olds have a restricted licence or better, while less than 25 per cent of school leavers have some type of driver’s licence.

In recent years, many industries which use lots of drivers have struggled to find suitably qualified staff.

The road transport industry has combined with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to encourage more people into driving as a career through a Sector Workforce Employment Programme.

The National Driver Training Centre aims to provide suitably qualified drivers who have completed the first steps towards a job where a driving licence is required.

The Centre is holding an Open Day for school principals, career advisors and gateway co-ordinators on Tuesday 21 November to explain the courses and opportunities the National Driver Training Centre provides.