Hauliers are calling for a moratorium on apprenticeship levy payments following further delays to the inclusion of a Category C+E licence in the LGV Driver Apprenticeship. 

Since the launch of the LGV Driver Apprenticeship  in April 2017 the logistics industry has paid over £300m in levy fees but has drawn down less than 10% of that sum. The low take up has been partly attributed to the absence of a Category C+E licence in the apprenticeship, which is needed to train drivers to drive artics. Currently the apprenticeship only includes a Category C licence for rigids.

Last year FTA said the lack of a C+E licence in the apprenticeship made it "not fit for purpose" in the light of the HGV driver shortage crisis.

Despite the Institute of Apprenticeships approving the inclusion of the C+E licence in the apprenticeship last week, hauliers expressed frustration this week at how long that process will take.

The amendment cannot be submitted for formal approval until 8 January next year and then the Department of Education will need to approve the extra funding required to cover the additional training costs – a process that could take until next summer and which has no guarantee of success.

Logistics consultant and former PD Ports director Jim French, a member of the Logistics Trailblazer Group, the industry's apprenticeships working group, commented: “Logistics companies contribute far more than they recover from the levy. If the Institute of Apprenticeships is not willing to help with the driver shortage then the industry should demand a holiday from levy payments until the Institute of Apprenticeships moves from their intransigent attitude.”

Read more


RHA head of licensing and infrastructure policy Tom Cotton echoed French’s frustration with the process this week. He told motortransport.co.uk: “I am sympathetic and understand his view. We are incredibly frustrated that we have paid over £300m into what is supposed to be a levy that benefits us.

"Yet, two years on, we have not been able to use it to its full potential to deal with the very serious HGV driver shortage crisis. It is no surprise the industry regards it as an indirect tax.”

Sally Gilson, FTA head of skills development, welcomed the Institute of Apprenticeships announcement of its approval which she said was the result of “more than two years’ complex and intensive negotiations.”

She added: "However many logistics businesses will not ever be able to draw down all the funds they paid into the apprenticeship levy as apprenticeships do not meet all the needs of our sector.

“So, while the institute's announcement is welcome news, government still needs to reform the levy to enable it to pay for all forms of training.”