The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has described the Government’s decision to approve the HGV Driver Trailblazer Apprenticeship as ‘common sense’ but says that clarification on how the full cost of the licence acquisition will be funded is needed.
Commenting on the Minister for Skills Nick Boles' approval of the HGV Driver Standard last week, FTA skills development manager Sally Gilson said: “It was vitally important for the freight and logistics sector that quality training for HGV Drivers was recognised and that a formal route existed for young people to come into the role.
“I would like to mention the hard work and time that Colin Snape of food transportation and distribution company Nagel Langdons has put into bringing together this apprenticeship”
Previously, the FTA has stated that the average age of a professional lorry driver is 48 and the freight and logistics industry is desperate to engage with young people, and for that, access to apprenticeships for professional drivers was essential. The Association added that without the option of vocational funding for apprenticeships the logistics industry will be left bereft of funding options for driver training.
Gilson added: “FTA has been stressing to Government the importance of the HGV Driver Apprenticeship for a long time now, particularly in light of the Apprenticeship Levy so we are pleased that this standard has now finally been approved.
“However we do now require the Minister to confirm that within the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship the full cost of the licence acquisition will be funded so that businesses can make full use of the apprenticeship.”
The FTA was pleased that that issue was raised by Stuart McDonald MP at Transport Questions in the Commons last week. The Minister responded that he himself had not been fully informed at this stage, so FTA will continue to press this question.