How the pandemic has affected our industry
Lynne Barrie, Chairman of the ADINJC, speaks to Intelligent Instructor
The Chairman of the ADINJC, Lynne Barrie, has been speaking to Intelligent Instructor. She provides us with some of her thoughts and views on the past year.
It’s certainly been a tumultuous time for everyone. But the pandemic has been particularly difficult for many ADIs to cope with. Many have fallen through the government’s financial safety nets. While basic business lessons that have been missing in their training have come back to haunt them.
The ADINJC was there to help from the very start. Advice and support lines were set up, information coordinated and a light shone in the darkest of times for many. But our industry has struggled, while the leadership needed from the government and its agencies has often been lacking.
In an open interview, Lynne provides praise but also asks some questions.
Here’s just a taster. But you can read the full interview here.
“This was an unusual time and, like everyone else, we were on a steep learning curve, not least about the pandemic and its effects,” says Lynne. “As ADIs ourselves we understood the challenges that the industry were facing. It does feel as if this last lockdown has been worse for many colleagues; it’s now gone on for so long and the lack of a salary has made it a huge struggle for many in our industry.”
Like so many people, its not just the loss of earnings that have hit ADIs hard.
“So many ADIs didn’t see this lasting as long as it has. They’ve become anxious and stressed with the financial implications and this has only increased the negative mental health impacts on themselves and their families.”
The lockdowns have revealed just how many ADIs have lacked the basic business skills needed. It’s an issue that needs further exploration.
“I’ve been surprised by the number of ADIs who just live from week to week, never saving money for unforeseen events like this. It’s why I think learning how to run a business is a very important part of becoming an ADI and we need to make sure it becomes a much more prescient part of training to become a driving instructor. It’s not just about teaching. Many ADIs have young families and child care responsibilities, so those responsibilities, often with home schooling on top, has been a real pressure point and worry for some instructors, adding to the mental health challenges.”
Who’s In charge?
The lack of effective official communication and direction has not helped. The impact has been confusion, anxiety and stress.
“The messages from Government could have been a lot simpler and clearer. I would personally have liked to see more direct messages from DVSA”. Lynne continues: “It’s been a learning process for all of us, but government and governing agencies should have been showing better leadership and decision making skills, let alone effectiveness in communication.”
But its not all doom and gloom. The future is looking busy and plenty of useful lessons have been and, hopefully, will be learnt.
“There are always positives,” according to Lynne. “These have to be good things we can grab hold on to and drive forward with positivity and purpose. I can’t wait!”