The government has finally given the go-ahead to a Trailblazer apprenticeship for lorry drivers after it was submitted for the third time last month.

An industry-led consortium of logistics employers, supported by the RHA, FTA and CILT, has been working on the LGV Trailblazer Standard for more than a year.

Consortium chairman Colin Snape, HR manager at Nagel-Langdons, told of the decision by BIS: “Myself and the group are delighted our hard work has paid off and we will now have an apprenticeship tailor-made for the industry.”

He added that it was “even more important” given the introduction of an apprenticeship levy revealed in the Autumn Statement, which is forecast to raise £3bn and fund £3m of new apprenticeships from 2017.

The RHA has welcomed the approval of the Trailblazer bid for an LGV apprenticeship, which it said it has been lobbying strongly for approval of since an earlier bid was rejected this summer.

It added it will now be able to support the Trailblazer consortium and work on the finer details of the process, ensuring that it is attractive to smaller firms as well as large fleets.

RHA policy director Jack Semple said: “It is essential that the funding from BIS to support the apprenticeship includes the training for licence acquisition. That element lies at the core of training new lorry drivers.

“This will need a policy change at BIS but the RHA has set out how funding the licence training can be key to making the apprenticeship and success, can drive up the first time pass rate at test through candidate selection and preparation, and help drive up standards in the industry.”

Existing apprenticeship schemes and funding will cease in September 2017, with industry-developed Trailblazers replacing them from this point.