Moody Logistics has urged the skills and education minister to fix the crisis surrounding the lack of qualified HGV technicians and warned him of the severe consequences for the industry.

The Northumberland company said widespread problems in recruiting mechanics could damage the recovery in the UK economy and that the current apprenticeship scheme was not fit for purpose.

In a letter to Robert Halfon, Moody MD Caroline Moody said it had solved its driver recruitment problems by developing its own fast track apprenticeship scheme – but this couldn’t be replicated for technicians as things stood.

Moody’s sister company Heathline Commercials recently recruited one of the haulier’s HGV drivers as a trainee mechanic after he opted for a change of career when it struggled to employ s technician.

Moody said the current four-year vehicle technician apprenticeship was largely designed for 16-year-olds, but there was falling interest among this age group to take up a career in a technical trade.

“Existing vehicle technician courses lack flexibility and fail to distinguish between individuals entering the field directly from school and those transitioning from other careers,” she told the minister.

“To address this crisis, we propose the creation of more flexible and tailored training programmes that accommodate individuals with higher levels of mechanical knowledge and experience. This approach would allow for a shorter qualification period and attract individuals who could bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application.”

The RHA wrote to the Treasury last week with a list of demands for the industry ahead of March’s Budget, which included increasing the funding band available for training providers and colleges offering heavy vehicle mechanic apprenticeships.

Moody said: “The shortage of qualified vehicle technicians poses severe consequences for the logistics sector, which forms the backbone of the nation’s economy.

“Rectifying this shortage requires a concerted effort, including increased government investment in retraining programmes for older workers and a re-evaluation of the perception surrounding vocational and technical education.”