Training scheme to tackle logistics skills gap

The FTA is to offer free training for truck drivers, to plug the logistics skills gap

Food and drink manufacturers are to benefit from fully-funded training and apprenticeships from the Freight Transport Association (FTA), to tackle shortages of skilled heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

Government funding to train up to 200 HGV drivers is being made available to FTA members, through a new partnership with The Real Apprenticeship Company (TRAC).

Applications for funding will need to be made before the end of March 2017 and trainees enrolled by mid April. Learners need to be aged 23 or below and hold a Category B (car) driving licence before starting the course.

This will be the last training scheme available that will not need a monetary contribution from employers before the Apprenticeship Levy is introduced in April, said the FTA.

Sally Gilson, head of skills campaigning at the FTA said: “This is a great opportunity for members to get free training for the drivers they are recruiting now. 

‘Persistent shortage’

We are pleased to be able to offer this funding to members to help them tackle the persistent shortage of qualified HGV drivers.

A total fund of £1M has been secured by TRAC, sufficient to fund up to 200 drivers through driving licence acquisition training. 

It is being offered to FTA members and covers the full cost of approved training to include Category C (vehicles over 3,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg) and potentially C+E (category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg) driving licence acquisition.

‘Reduced appetite’

Pierre de Carteret, chief operating officer at TRAC, said: “While there is currently a reduced appetite to commence training apprentices now, there is a very clear economic rationale for doing so. 

“This is most definitely a case of use it or lose it and it’s extremely unlikely government will provide another funded opportunity like this again.”

The FTA estimates that there could be up to 35,000 vacancies for trained HGV drivers across the country.

Meanwhile, the Apprenticeship Levy came under fire from Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, at the Business Leaders’ Forum this week (January 24).

Related News

The Apprenticeship Levy represents 'poor value for money', claims the Institute for Fiscal Studies

Apprenticeship Levy ‘is poor value for money’

NFU boss Terry Jones: Sharing positive food industry experiences will help to attract top talent

Sharing positive manufacturing experiences will lift recruitment

FTA backs a third Heathrow runway

FTA urges government to back Heathrow expansion

Non-UK EU workers are vital to the logistics industry, the FTA said

EU workers are vital to the logistics industry: FTA

Pokémon players have been warned to stay vigilant around the FTA's head office

FTA posts safety notice for Pokémon players

Government approval of a third runway at Heathrow has been praised by the FTA

FTA praises Heathrow expansion

The UK has the most congested roads in Europe (Flickr/jonbgem)

Food firms best at navigating Europe’s busiest roads

The Calais transport crisis is intensifying, warns the FTA

Lorry ‘slashed’, as Calais transport crisis deepens

The food industry was cautiously optimistic after Theresa May gave assurances about the right of non-UK EU workers to continue working in the UK

Food industry’s cautious welcome to PM’s Brexit speech

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.