The RHA held a ‘challenging but positive meeting’ with the Skills Minister Nick Boles MP, to press the case for more action to solve the chronic LGV driver shortage.
After the meeting, held at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: "The positive news was that the Minister confirmed that the LGV Trailblazer Apprenticeship has been approved. The challenging area concerned the need to convince government that the apprenticeship funding must cover the cost of training for the licence acquisition and for an emergency £150 million funding package to be made payable direct to hauliers.
"I emphasised to the minister that an apprenticeship which failed to cover the training costs associated with licence acquisition was about as much use as a truck without an engine."
The meeting also presented an invaluable opportunity for the RHA to emphasise that the £150 million of emergency funding would more than pay for itself - the Exchequer would benefit from the extra social taxes and increase in fuel duty remittances as a result of more UK trucks on the road.
Burnett added: “As we left today's meeting we were encouraged by the Minister's agreement to an ongoing dialogue to try and find a mutually acceptable way forward. Our campaign goes on."