A new training facility designed to produce the next generation of London taxi drivers has launched, with the Sherbet London Knowledge College in the UK’s capital city.
Sherbet London is one of London’s largest taxi operators, with 500 iconic black London taxis serving business and casual taxi users all across the capital. Sherbet London is bucking the trend while so much of the London taxi industry is reeling from the onslaught of new services such as Uber. The Sherbet London fleet has grown by over 400% in just 18 months and shows no sign of slowing.
Now Sherbet London is seizing the opportunity to train the next generation of cabbies with a cutting edge new training centre.
London taxi drivers are recognised the world over as being the most reliable – and this is in no small part due to their requirement to learn ‘The Knowledge’ a notoriously gruelling 3-4 year training regime that sees them having to learn all major routes around London plus every point of interest; including schools, hospitals, stations etc.
Traditionally this meant students wishing to become London cabbies had to spend many months riding around on scooters with map books strapped to their handlebars learning the myriad of routes – but now Sherbet London Knowledge College is doing things a little differently.
Firstly the new learning facility, based in the historic heartland of the taxi industry at the Richmond Road Cab Centre in Hackney, is the largest school of its kind. Secondly, large screens in the training centre broadcast live routes from the smartphones of working taxi drivers and trainees alike – using the Periscope app. Now knowledge students can learn routes in real time from the point of view of a real travelling taxi. A full taxi simulator based in the school itself, adds another new dimension to learning.
Sherbet London has also partnered with a new start-up that is revolutionising how the Knowledge of London is learned. KnowledgePics is an online resource that includes a rich library of all London points of interest in photographic form, meaning map books are a thing of the past. Student cabbies can now simply download routes to their smartphones or tablets and see a real street view image of each and every point blended with the digital map.
Asher Moses, CEO of Sherbet London, commented: “London has been crying out for a new Knowledge training facility for some time and we are proud to be delivering it. The Knowledge is tough, but it doesn’t have to be boring and riding around with a map book is no longer the best way to learn. We are using social media, online resources and crowd-learning by tapping into the expertise of London’s 20,000 knowledgeable cab drivers.”
Joining the Sherbet London Knowledge College is renowned Knowledge tutor Tony Norris, who has been training London cabbies for over 25 years. Tony added: “London never keeps still, it is constantly changing and growing, and the Knowledge has gone from taking less than a year, to over 3 years in the time I have been teaching it – so now harnessing new technology and techniques is essential.
“Sherbet London has tapped into the changing face of the taxi market and they recognise the next generation of cabbies are more tech-savvy and from more diverse backgrounds. We are seeing more women wanting to have the flexibility of working as a taxi driver and the Sherbet London Knowledge College is embracing anyone who has the commitment to become one of London’s finest.”
Launching the Sherbet London Knowledge College, Asher added: “We are thrilled to open this exciting new school and we have been inundated with students applying to join us. We have a great facility in a historic London taxi location and we are mixing that with the very latest that modern technology has to offer.
“The London taxi trade is world famous and our cabbies are known for their unrivalled knowledge and reliability. We are investing in that unique position as we all know Londoners and visitors to our great capital want knowledgeable drivers to get them where they are going safely and efficiently.”
The Sherbet London Knowledge School is based at the Richmond Road Cab Centre, 195 Richmond Road, London, E8 3NJ.
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