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There is some good news for companies in the haulage industry by way of a new apprenticeship scheme that has just been approved. According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), their ongoing campaign to encourage government support of new driver training has paid off with the approval of the Trailblazer Apprenticeship. Now the only question remaining is whether or not the government will dedicate additional money to cover the LGV training costs typically borne by students.

Minister Nick Boles recently confirmed the LGV Trailblazer Apprenticeship has been given official approval in an attempt to bring some relief to the current driver shortage. But RHA chief executive Richard Burnett says the campaign is not over. He is now pressing the government to ensure that apprenticeship funding will cover the cost of licence acquisition for students who cannot afford it. He says the industry also needs a £150 million emergency fund that hauliers can tap into to establish apprenticeship programmes.

The run-up to this year’s election featured several key political figures promoting the idea of new apprenticeships to get more workers into skilled trades instead of a university education. Apprenticeships for drivers were not part of the early plans, but things have obviously changed over the last six months. It now appears the government is ready and willing to embrace apprenticeships to get more young people into driving careers.

Cost of Training a Major Impediment

Industry groups such as the RHA have long maintained that the cost of licence acquisition is a major hindrance to getting new drivers in the industry. Unlike university students, young people who want to obtain a commercial driving licence are unable to access any sort of government support by way of financial assistance. Without money to train, they go into other jobs and then have no interest in changing course once they are established.

The truth is that LGV training costs are prohibitive for a lot of people. Whatever can be done to mitigate those costs would undoubtedly encourage more people to consider professional driving as a career. An apprenticeship programme that completely paid for the cost of licence acquisition would not eliminate the driver shortage completely, but it would make a significant impact.

Only time will tell whether or not the Trailblazer Apprenticeship has any real value for addressing the driver shortage. We are all crossing our fingers in the hope that it does. In the meantime, the HGV Training Centre will continue to urge drivers of all ages to consider a career in professional driving.

You can still train with us even if you cannot cover your LGV training costs out-of-pocket. We offer a financing package through Pay 4 Later that allows you to take your training now while paying for it over time with easy to manage monthly payments. We are one of the few training companies in the UK offering this option. Be sure to ask about financing when you call for more information about our LGV training course.

Sources:

  1. Politics Home – https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/transport/press-release/road-haulage-association/49068/rha-has-challenging-positive-meeting

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