The government must avoid any “distraction or dilution” from the trailblazer apprenticeships as the April 2017 start date approaches, the RHA has said.

RHA national director of policy Jack Semple urged the government to keep the momentum going on the trailblazers, and to have them in action by next April.

This, he said, is the date “the road haulage and logistics industry has been working towards, as have many other sectors”, as well as the beginning of the nationwide apprenticeship levy.

The government gave the proposed LGV driver training apprenticeship the thumbs up last December, and in August of this year confirmed that it would include funding for licence acquisition.

Semple said that “any delay at this stage from the April 2017 date would be completely unacceptable”.

He added: “It would break faith with those who have worked with the government to develop the apprenticeship frameworks, momentum being built up across the industry would be lost and it would let down the thousands of smaller firms and their apprentices for which this is a new way forward.”

However Semple said the association had detected “no lessening of enthusiasm from new ministers in this area”.