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Fourloughed workers should be encouraged to take up training opportunities, according to the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

The association has put together an online training programme, set to launch next month, in place of its face-to-face training sessions which were suspended due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Director general, Robert Keen said the modules aim to replicate the interactive nature of its traditional courses by using live trainers with over 25 years freight and customs experience.

Keen added: “In order to keep up this success in training activities during the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, we have made the decision to replicate almost our entire course range and deliver it via video conferencing.

“The good news is that government guidance allows furloughed employees to engage in training, provided that whilst undertaking the training the employee does not provide service to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation.

“Furloughed employees should be encouraged to consider BIFA's online training opportunities.”

The online training programme will consist of 18 freight and customs-related topics spread over nine modules, with more subjects to be added at a later date.

BIFA said the BTEC courses in freight and customs declarations saw a four-fold increase in students last year, driven by the UK’s exit from the EU.

Carl Hobbis, BIFA training development manager added: “We see these courses being a permanent part of our training calendar in the future. One of the outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic is that people have embraced web-based solutions due to remote working, so I feel that people will think twice about travelling for meetings and classroom training in the future.

“Whilst it is difficult to beat a live face-to-face session with a trainer, this hybrid solution is much better that solo eLearning, or a webinar.”