The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called for assurance from the UK’s devolved governments that Apprenticeship Levy funds will be made available for apprenticeships or other vocational training in the freight sector.
The FTA has written to the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish administrations to ask that plans are announced before the levy is introduced in April, detailing how those paying in can access their funds. Businesses need time to prepare for apprenticeship training and, for some, it will be the first time they have engaged with apprenticeships.
The FTA’s Skills Policy Development Manager, Sally Gilson, said: “The devolved governments must ensure that those businesses who operate across borders can make use of their levy funds geographically, wherever is best suited. It is important that the apprenticeship levy does not become another business tax and that levy payers have access to suitable, fully funded-apprenticeships for all age groups.”
The freight and logistics industry has an ongoing shortage of skilled labour – especially drivers, technicians and engineers – so it is vital that the Apprenticeship Levy plays a role in filling the gap. Most transport managers and drivers are in their mid-40s, so the industry needs to become an attractive and aspirational career for young people.