SP Training has welcomed plans to include acquisition of the Category C+E  HGV licence within the apprenticeship standard.

The training provider was responding to the news that The Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver Apprenticeship should include the category C+E licence by the autumn.

It came after motortransport.co.uk learnt that the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), the body which approves apprenticeships, is set to give the greenlight to the inclusion of the C+E licence on 4 September.

Earlier this year FTA said the absence of the C+E licence made the apprenticeship “not fit for purpose”, since it failed to address the HGV driver shortage.

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SP Training is currently delivering professional driver programmes to employers like Asda, Clipper Logistics and Bibby Distribution under the apprenticeship standard.

These operators are using the apprenticeship and their levy contributions to fully fund new drivers in the acquisition of their rigid Category C licences.

However, SP Training said the omission of funding for C+E licences had been a real hindrance to the industry and has not addressed the well-documented driver shortage. It has also meant employers have been unable to spend funds from their levy pot in the areas they are actually needed.

Robin Brown, SP Training chairman, said: “It is widely accepted that the industry needs greater flexibility to extend funding to drivers of articulated trucks in a bid to ease the driver shortage and increase the uptake of apprenticeships.

“We’ve seen first-hand how employers have been handicapped by the current situation and welcome plans to include the C+E licence within the apprenticeship standards.”

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