Trade must act to defuse training time bomb

By Gillian McKenzie

Training was the hot topic at the Scottish Licensed Trade Association’s AGM last week. And understandably so.

Worrying figures emerged last month showing as few as 1200 of an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 personal licence holders had completed refresher training.
With the August 31 deadline for this first batch of PLHs looming ever closer, it’s a very worrying situation.
The reasons for this apparent tardiness are unclear.
Trade groups, licensing lawyers and training providers have been banging the refresher training drum for over a year. And SLTN has carried a raft of articles in that time urging operators to organise refresher training.
In fact, refresher training was the focus of SLTA chief Paul Waterson’s keynote speech at last year’s AGM.
And yet, 12 months on, it seems there is a vast number of PLHs who have yet to fulfil the requirements.
The ramifications could not be more serious.
Those who fail to comply by the August 31 deadline and submit evidence of this to the licensing board no later than December 1 will have their licence revoked and cannot apply for a new one for five years.
Training providers are understandably predicting a last minute rush from PLHs to book places on courses. Throw summer holidays into the mix and the situation is likely to become even more frantic.
The message is clear: book onto a course now; the consequences of missing the deadline don’t bear thinking about.