Government plans to cut the cost of apprenticeship training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are welcome but more needs to be done to address the skills shortage, according to Europa Worldwide Group.

The operator welcomed plans announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the budget last week to halve SMEs’ contributions towards apprenticeships to 5%.

Dan Cook, Europa Worldwide operations director (pictured), said the company, which employs 750 staff across 14 sites in the UK, plans to recruit more apprentices to match its growth in the coming years so the decision will reinforce its efforts.

“Employing young people is key to our structure and we are passionate about recruiting driven individuals who can be trained and guided to become future leaders of the business.”

However Cook called for more action from government on the current skills shortage in the industry.

Dan Cook Operations Director Europa Worldwide Group Resized

“While the budget brings a massive boost to road issues, such as improving road infrastructure and maintaining the freeze on fuel duty, the skills shortage, particularly in relation to drivers, hasn’t been specifically addressed and this is something we’d like to see.”