Leaving cert points have been added up. CAO offers have been accepted. Driving licence secured? In a survey of second and third level students and graduates carried out by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, part of the world’s largest car rental group, 86 per cent of respondents said driving is an important skill to have for employability.
Out of those surveyed, 52 per cent had already applied for a job where it was a requirement to have a full driving licence, while 42 per cent felt their inability to drive had diminished their employment opportunities in the past. More females than males feel dissuaded to apply for a job if driving is a necessity – 39 per cent compared to 28 per cent.
However, more than four out of five (85 per cent) respondents do not think enough importance is placed on learning to drive in secondary schools and universities. Less than half (47 per cent) of those surveyed said they had learned to drive at the national legal age of 17, and just under one third (31 per cent) of respondents had taken the test at the age of 18.
The survey also revealed that third level students are now learning to drive at a younger age than those who graduated prior to 2010. Of those currently attending a third level institution 53 per cent learnt how to drive at 17 compared to just under a third (32 per cent) of graduates of more than five years.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car survey also reveals the most common reason behind learning to drive is independence (68 per cent) followed by the fact that is “a good skill to have” (32 per cent). Other factors include:
No available public transport routes (32 per cent)
Motivated by parents (19 per cent)
Motivated by friends (8 per cent)
Out of the 25 per cent of respondents who have not obtained their driving licence yet, 57 per cent said it was because it was too expensive.
This research comes at a crucial time when more and more companies require their graduate employees to have a full driving licence, according to Leslee O’Loughlin, Group Human Resources Manager at Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
“As the class of 2015 get ready to take the next step on the education ladder, they will be assessing all the options open to them and the skills they may require in their future endeavours. It is important for students to understand the value driving has as a skill and how much emphasis is put on this skill in the career they wish to pursue. By not being able to drive many candidates are ruling themselves out of a number of positions before the application process has even begun. To an employer a candidate’s ability to drive can demonstrate their willingness to learn new skills and their motivation and dedication to succeed.” said Ms O’Loughlin.