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Now’s the time for Haulage & Logistics to embrace Apprenticeships

Now’s the time for Haulage & Logistics to embrace Apprenticeships

Some sources indicate there has been a drop of up to 41% in individuals starting on an Apprenticeship since April 2017 when the new Apprenticeship Levy and associated funding reforms were introduced. The Levy is a compulsory payment all companies with a wage bill of over £3million must make to the Treasury. This money is ring fenced for employers to spend exclusively on Apprenticeships training for staff. If they don’t use the money within 24 months, they lose it.

Evidence suggests they’re not using it. The Logistics sector has already made £85 million worth of Levy payments since April 17 but figures show that to Jan 18 only 500 individuals enrolled on an Apprenticeship in LGV Driving, one of the three Apprenticeship options in the sector.

Perceived complexity

Low Apprenticeship start rates means employers aren’t participating at the expected level. Pundits suspect this is due to a perceived complexity surrounding the Levy. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) confirm that many of their members are “discouraged from applying” because they are confused by an overload of information from multiple sources.

Levy learning curve

Rather than work through the confusion, employers it seems are treating the Levy as a tax, not a funding source for staff development. Who can blame them? Government reforms have been momentous, completely overturning the way Apprenticeships are funded and managed. Employers suddenly found themselves in the driving seat – but at the start of unknown journey in a juggernaut without a map. Already stretched in a myriad of ways, businesses were expected to scale a steep learning curve and immerse themselves in a world of digital Apprenticeship accounts, end point assessments and 50 pages of funding guidance.  

Apprenticeships provide a sturdy infrastructure

These things take time. A drop in Apprenticeships activity was inevitable whilst industry acclimatised. There is a sense that the dust is settling now though. And done right, Apprenticeships do unquestionably provide a sturdy infrastructure for developing staff. Everyone’s allowed a settling- in period; what’s important now, is that employers in the Haulage and Logistics sector make the right move to embrace Apprenticeships.

Here are 5 reasons why the time is right:

1. Apprenticeship providers are here to help!

A year after the introduction of the Levy and other Apprenticeship reforms, providers of Apprenticeship training are now very well versed in the Government’s rules and procedures. They are fully able to support employers along the learning curve and provide advice on areas such as how to open an online Apprenticeship account. Most Apprenticeship providers will provide step by step guidance free of charge on how to become an Apprenticeship employer.   

2. Use it or lose it

Levy paying employers can spend all the funds in their Apprenticeship service account plus 10% top up from Government on training their staff. This is a long term investment in the skills base of their company. But if they don’t use the funds within 24 months of paying it, they lose it to the Treasury. Makes sense to put it to good use! Make the most of your Levy before it’s too late.

3. Not all employers have to pay the Levy – many don’t!

Only employers with a wage bill of over £3m are liable. Smaller employers do not have to pay the Levy but they must pay 10% of the cost of Apprenticeship training and assessment for staff aged 19 and over, with the Government paying the remaining 90%. Importantly, employers with less than 50 employees, who recruit a 16 to 18 year old apprentice, have 100% costs of Apprenticeship training and assessment paid for by Government. Smaller employers who aren’t yet involved in Apprenticeships are missing out on all this funding.

4. Apprenticeships are a solution to LGV driver shortage

Logistics firms are starting to turn to the Apprenticeship in LGV Driving as a tool for training and retaining LGV drivers. It’s no quick fix to the country’s driver shortage but provides the components for a longer term solution to the problem as can be seen in the partnership between TRS Training and the Road Haulage Association

A recent development is expected to encourage more logistics firms to embrace Apprenticeships: thanks to RHA lobbying the Government, approval has now been given for employers to use Apprenticeship funding to train individuals to drive LGV C+E (articulated vehicles). Previously this was restricted to C vehicles.

5. Less restrictions on who can do Apprenticeships

Restrictions on who can access training via Apprenticeships have been lifted. So older staff members can now be trained through Apprenticeships. Also staff who have higher level qualifications can be retrained through Apprenticeships to fit in with new or enhanced roles within a business, as long as the Apprenticeship is in a substantially different subject area.

 

TRS Training: Here to help your business grow through Apprenticeships

TRS Training provides Apprenticeships solutions to the Road Haulage and Logistics sector. We demystify Apprenticeships funding for employers and help them make full use of their Levy or access Government funding for staff development if they are non-Levy payers. Contact us for no obligation chat about how we can help.

Call 01744 819 019 or email kevinb@trstraining.com