Uber to recruit 20,000 more drivers

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Credit: Uber Newsroom

Uber passengers in Birmingham should expect reduced wait times as the company prepares to hire 20,000 more drivers.

The ride hailing service hopes to have new drivers recruited by the end of the year increasing driver numbers to 90,000 in the UK.

Uber say they are seeing more than a 50% increase in trips across the UK since restaurants opened up for outdoor dining earlier this month. 

The Mailbox Birmingham | Credit: Visit Birmingham

Gursimran Rihal, an Uber driver in Birmingham, wasn’t surprised by the announcement.

He said:

“That number is not huge, considering a number of drivers leave the platform voluntarily every year. Many people including myself only do it part time so its not a main source of income. Uber will recruit new drivers constantly to fill these gaps.”

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe said they were encouraging 20,00 new drivers to sign up ‘as cities open up and people start moving again’. 

Gursimran Rihal claimed he has seen increased demand in the city since restrictions were eased and expects to see this grow as restaurants and night clubs open.

He added that the increase in drivers working in the city wouldn’t have a ‘major impact’ on his work as he expects to be getting more trips throughout the day.

Mick Rix, national officer for GMB, Uber drivers’ union said: “Uber is trying to signal the horrendous collapse of the private hire minicab sector brought about by the pandemic is coming to an end.”

In February, the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers in the UK should be classed workers and entitled to basic employment protections such as the minimum wage.

Mick Rix added:  “Now Uber has committed to treating its workers fairly, granting them the rights to which they are legally entitled, this can only be good for the beleaguered private hire sector.”

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