1. ITV Report

Taxi firm recruits Romanian drivers

Teignbridge Taxis has recruited fifteen drivers from Romania Photo: ITV News

The boss of Teignbridge Taxis in Newton Abbot says he has tried long and hard to recruit locally.

Managing director Daniel Hooper said: "We had a sign outside our office which is in the centre of Newton Abbot with 'drivers wanted' on it for over three years, and we did recruit a few, but not in the numbers we needed. Our phone rings and rings and we needed more drivers than we could get locally."

Many of the newly arrived Romanians are qualified professionals. Razvan Constantin is a solicitor who's working here to support his family back home.

"I have two boys, eleven years and eleven months, and was difficult for me to leave my country in coming here. But I like England, especially Devon because I found here a lot of nice people."

And it isn't the only firm to have to look far afield to find its drivers. One firm in Plymouth went as far as setting up a school in eastern Europe to help recruit drivers and encourage their English and driving skills.

Daniel Hooper already had some Polish drivers and has no regrets.

"It's working out very well. The drivers work very hard, very consciencious, and we're getting good reports from the customers. All of the Romanians are very thankful to have a job and really appreciate every customer we have."

But other taxi operators in Newton Abbot aren't so happy.

One told us: "There's not enough work for the taxi drivers in Teignbridge at the moment so why they're bringing in Romanians I have no idea."

"We're more concerned about the CRB check. Whether they get them done in Romania or not they've got to be done here. And basically they've got to have a licence here for two years before they can even drive."