To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in driving test appointments on the ability of farms to recruit staff with the required skills.
Tractor training and testing resumed in England and Wales on 29 March, and on 26 April in Scotland.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners.
It is not within the DVSA’s remit to assess the ability of farms to recruit staff but it fully appreciates the challenges that suspending driver training and testing has had, including for those in the agricultural sector. The DVSA’s top priority has been to keep everyone safe and only resume its testing services when safe to do so.