Many employers in the road haulage sector will welcome Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson’s recent announcement that funding for LGV/HGV Apprenticeships will increase to £7,000 from 1 August.
What does the funding increase mean for employers?
The announcement means that the funding will now cover the costs of Cat C+E licence acquisition as standard, as well as Cat C. Until now, employers using the LGV Apprenticeship as a methodology for training new drivers had to pay for the Cat C+E licence themselves. As always, TRS Training will continue to arrange for apprentices to undertake Cat C+E lessons and test as part of their TRS apprenticeship programme. However, from 1 August, this aspect of the apprenticeship will be paid for via the Levy or Government funding.
It is important to note that the new funding will not apply to apprentices who have already commenced their training. Rather it will be available for those apprentices who start on or after 1 August.
RHA, BAR and Trailblazer Group lobbying
It is thanks to the hard work of the Road Haulage Association, the British Association of Removers and other members of The Trailblazer Group for Transport and Logistics that the Government have taken steps to increase funding. Whilst this is a positive step for the industry, it is just one of the measures in the RHA’s 12 point plan to tackle the UK’s critical driver shortage.
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said
“We need Government to act and address the driver shortage for the industry and the drivers. While we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7,000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”
What about employers who don’t need C+E training for drivers?
Many employers in the logistics sector don’t need their drivers to have a Cat C+E licence. Removals companies and express delivery companies are just two examples. Many of these use up to only 32-tonne vehicles, which are covered by the Cat C licence. However, the LGV/HGV Apprenticeship’s revised funding now includes as mandatory the acquisition of the Cat C+E licence. Consequently, a proportion of drivers will be spending time on an aspect of the apprenticeship that is not required for their jobs. And their employers fear that these drivers may then seek alternative employment as Cat C+E drivers on higher pay rates.
Whilst employers may be concerned about this, recent news about a new Urban Apprenticeship standard will put their minds at rest. The British Association of Removers has been actively working on the development and introduction of the Urban Standard, which will not include Cat C+E licence acquisition. When it is approved, this apprenticeship will be more suitable for logistics companies using up to 32-tonne vehicles. BAR Director General Ian Studd said:
“It is vital that we are able to provide appropriate and attainable apprenticeship programs to attract more drivers to our industry, and approval of the Urban Standard must therefore be progressed without delay. We also need Government to focus on providing further support and incentives to address the key issue of driver shortages.”
Find out more
TRS Training works in partnership with both the Road Haulage Association and the British Association of Removers. As a result, we are well-positioned to keep you up-to-date with the very latest information. If you need clarification about the changes in LGV/HGV funding and how they will impact your organisation, please contact Kevin Birch at TRS Training on 07788 120 608.