Logistics UK is calling for urgent action to prevent a decline in the number of HGV maintenance apprenticeships, following the government's funding review for apprenticeships.
Jonas Keat, Logistics UK policy advisor, said the association was " disappointed" at the small increase in funding for the Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance apprenticeship, and warned this could exacerbate the growing shortage of HGV technicians.
Keat said: "While it is encouraging to note an increase in funding for the HGV C+E apprenticeship, from £7,000 to £8,000, the announced financial support to the Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance apprenticeship is limited.
"In 2017, funding for this apprenticeship was £18,000, however in 2018 this was lowered to £15,000. While we are pleased that the announcement includes an increase in funding to £20,000, this only represents a £2,000 rise since 2017.”
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Following conversations with members, Logistics UK – together with key industry bodies – wrote a joint letter to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) calling for the funding to be increased to £23,000 in line with inflation, and repeated these calls to the Secretaries of State for Education and Transport.
Keat added: “Currently, there are limited providers of the Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance apprenticeship course across the UK. This is primarily due to the high cost of the course, which often generates a loss in revenue for most training providers.
"We are therefore disappointed to see that the outcome of this review has failed to recognise the needs of industry; if skills shortages are to be resolved, sufficient support must be given to the providers who are being relied upon to deliver this training.
"Logistics UK will now continue to engage with government to prevent the number of courses from further declining.”