International development organisation Transaid has concluded phase two of its Professional Driver Training project in Uganda, with 890 predominantly HGV drivers being trained over a two-year period – exceeding the project’s original training goal by more than 15 per cent.
Delivered in partnership with local non-governmental organisation (NGO) Safe Way Right Way, the project set out to improve the standards of driver training in a country which suffers one of Africa’s worst road traffic incident rates, claiming an estimated 12,000 lives* a year.
Key to the project was the aim of encouraging more women into the sector, which Transaid believes will benefit transport companies, contribute to improved safety and generate new career opportunities for women.
Caroline Barber, Chief Executive of Transaid, says: “Uganda is experiencing a huge rise in demand for professional drivers, and we expect this to continue increasing over the coming years. Phase two of this project set challenging training goals, and it’s a testament to the hard work of the training team that we have surpassed those expectations.
“The fact that around 10 per cent of the trainees were women also demonstrates an appetite for a more inclusive workforce.”
The majority of drivers trained were acquiring an HGV licence for the first time, whilst around 15 per cent benefitted from refresher modules, having not previously received formal training from Safe Way Right Way. Transaid supported the refresher training with the roll-out of six new, short refresher courses – whilst all training was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT).
The skills of Master Trainers and Trainers were bolstered, with Quality Assurance assessments and retraining. Transaid also supported Safe Way Right Way with marketing and business strategies to encourage more drivers and fleets to enrol.
Ms. Barber continues: “We were already proud of what was achieved in the first phase of this project between 2016 and 2020; this latest phase of work has helped to create a noticeable change that will last, well beyond our involvement in the project.”
Phase two was an initiative of the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme, funded by the German and Norwegian governments.
Future recommendations for professional driver training in Uganda include an increased emphasis on fuel-efficient driving techniques, to improve sustainability, and the recruitment of female trainers to encourage continued involvement of female drivers.
For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.
*World Health Organisation, Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018