Uber partners with Rosetta Stone to offer free language lessons for drivers

Uber is teaming up with popular language service Rosetta Stone to offer free lessons for drivers and couriers, the company said Thursday.

The agreement is extended to drivers and delivery people in certain markets where Uber operates. Rosetta’s digital language learning programs, which cover 24 languages, will be fully integrated with the Uber app used by its employees. And the company is working with Rosetta on developing language skills directly related to their work as carpooling and delivery drivers.

Drivers could previously take English lessons through Uber Pro, the company’s rewards program for drivers. The new language services are part of a wider effort by the rideshare company to improve relationships with its drivers, as well as offering incentives to sign up to the platform amid a nationwide shortage of Uber drivers. .

In many cities, the majority of people who drive for Uber are immigrants. In London, 82 percent of drivers are immigrants, while the number in New York is 90 percent. Uber says it wants to give its employees the opportunity to learn a new language on the job, which could help them secure more full-time jobs.

To further help drivers find new jobs, Uber offers letters describing the work they did while working for the company. The letter, which will be on Uber letterhead, will include details such as when they first registered to use the app, how many trips or deliveries they’ve made, their average customer rating. and their best comments.

But naturally, Uber would prefer people to stay logged in to its app, and the company offers bonus cash payments. Earlier this year, the company said it would spend $ 250 million on a “stimulus” for drivers in hopes of luring COVID-suspicious workers to the platform.

Language services are certainly part of this effort; Uber’s driver of operations said The Wall Street Journal recently the company would fund education and career development programs for drivers to address the worker shortage.

Uber drivers are independent contractors who lack many of the benefits and protections of paid employment. The company argues that this gives drivers the flexibility to work as they please and be their own boss, but some drivers feel they are at the mercy of Uber’s algorithm. US-based drivers seeking reclassification as employees have been stranded by courts and at the ballot box, but some are still looking for better protections.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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