PHOTO PROFESSIONALS ARE seeking a meeting with Minister Leo Varadkar and say that a new system for the forthcoming credit card-style driving licence could lead to job losses.
They say that the jobs could be lost because the photograph will be captured by the company that will complete the rest of the card process.
The card will be introduced in January 2013 and the Road Safety Authority sought a service provider through the EU tender process. SGS have been awarded the tender, which includes the capture of each individual’s photograph for their driving licence on-site from September 2013 on.
Tadhg Foley of Photo ID Professionals and Country Manager of Photo Me Irelandtold TheJournal.ie that this could impact on an estimated 4,000 employed in the provision of such services through photography shops (mini labs), pharmacies, camera shops, photographers and other outlets across the country. He said it could result in the loss of a minimum of 500 jobs by January 2014.
Foley said those in the industry are not against the introduction of these new styles of driving licences “but cannot understand why a sole agent provider” is to look after the photos.
Photo ID Professionals have met with government and opposition TD’s and Senators and the group is now seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar TD to seek a resolution of this issue.
Foley said that there are around 600,000 licences issued each year in Ireland and that for photographic shops, taking the photos is a large part of their business.
The RSA said that it tendered for a front office facility to administer the licence and be the public face of the NDLS. The RSA requested photo capture at the front office in the tender and gave the option of scanning a photograph provided by the customer or the capture of a digital photograph by the contractor at the front office. All tenderers proposed the latter.
It added that this system will:
deliver an enhanced level of security and anti fraud measures, by capturing the photograph of the customer at the front office instead of the customer providing a photograph with the current application through the post.