“A rare good”, “hard to find”, “we’re going straight into the wall”, “the same problem everywhere”. The driving schools of the Yonne unanimously agree: the department is struggling with the greatest shortage of driving instructors. More and more job openings are being offered, but applications are extremely rare. As a direct consequence for the students, there are delays in obtaining the precious sesame, with waiting lists here and there between obtaining the code and the start of driving lessons.
Wait three months
“Here the waiting is concentrated, because once they start to learn, you have to regularly make the driving hours,” says Gilbert Bollinger, an instructor for 35 years at the Montlhéry site in Avallon. It’s unheard of. It takes about three months. It also takes longer to get a place to retake the exam after failing. But the Yonne cannot be compared with the Paris region, where waiting times are doubled.” This trend has been reinforced for several years by several factors. Explanation with Christophe Madé, department chair of Mobilians (formerly the National Council of Automotive Professions), education branch – road safety and manager of the Gambetta driving school in Joigny.
Closure of the two training centers in Yonne
There were two training centers in the department to become a driving instructor: one in Auxerre and one in Sens. They both closed their doors to the Covid-19 crisis. “There are no more instructors trained in the Yonne, he complains. This has been a breeding ground for the various schools in Icaun. Attract professionals trained elsewhere and unfortunately, as in other areas, Yonne is not necessarily a very attractive department. “
Many people have arrived in the department, often from the Paris region. As often as it is possible not to have a permit in Île-de-France, here it is much more complicated. These neo-Icaunas therefore rush to pass them by.
As the supply shrinks, more and more students flock to the driving schools. In Christophe Madé’s view, two factors reinforce this strong increase in demand. “With the Covid-19, several instructors have decided to change jobs, and above all, many people have arrived in the department, often from the Paris region. As far as it is generally possible not to be licensed in Île-de-France , so much here it is much more complicated. These neo-Icaunais therefore rush to pass it. The other novelty is the possibility to finance his license through his Personal Training Account (CPF) in certified structures. This encourages many people to to go through our doors.”
Covid-19 has accelerated demand and slowed down supply, complicating the situation in the Yonne, as in other departments – Photo Florian Salesse
Temporarily more supported training
For a long time, the situation was completely reversed. Spontaneous applications from driving instructors were common. “Actually, very few vacancies were submitted directly to Pôle Emploi, explains Christophe Madé. The organization therefore felt that the sector was not under tension. So Pôle Emploi or the region stopped financing about three years ago. the training, which has become a level III professional title since 2016, replacing the old patent for the practice of the profession of driving and traffic teacher (BEPECASER) level IV. The training lasts about ten months and can cost up to 8,000 euros. This is inevitably a brake. We therefore mobilized ourselves to ensure that training was provided again, which has been the case for a year now.
“They may be affiliated with an approved platform, but under no circumstances directly post an ad to offer their services, even in possession of a prefectural license to practice.”
Christophe Made (Department chairman of the education branch – road safety of Mobilians and manager of a driving school in Joigny)
The temptation of independence
Foot calls to driving instructors are on the rise. On the internet, many online platforms offer professionals the opportunity to register as a self-employed person, which promises an increase in income and more flexibility.
“The legislation is very clear on the profession that is regulated, Christophe Madé emphasizes. They can be affiliated with a recognized platform, but under no circumstances place an advertisement directly to offer their services, even if they have a prefectural license to I am often wary of these platforms where you have to deduct the social contributions and charges yourself. The purchase of the dual-drive car, the specific insurance, the fuel, everything is the responsibility of the monitor, who also has not paid, for example holidays. Moreover, the delays in obtaining an exam place are longer and the chance of success is often lower than with traditional driving schools.”
Making the driver’s license free for young people under 25, as suggested by Fabien Roussel, is this feasible?