Business, Freight News, Logistics

FTA calls for urgent probe into Apprenticeship Levy

[ March 4, 2019   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to urgently review the Apprenticeship Levy to prevent a severe shortage of logistics workers post-Brexit. It says that with the anniversary of the Apprenticeship Levy approaching on 6 April, many businesses are still unable to utilise its funding.
Since April 2017 businesses with annual payrolls of more than £3m must pay 0.5% of their wage bill to the Apprentice Levy . Businesses can then use their levy funds for apprenticeship training. However, logistics apprenticeships are still waiting to be approved after over two years in development or are in desperate need of amending to make them fit for purpose, says FTA.
FTA’s head of skills As Sally Gilson commented: “This is despite the logistics sector contributing more than £100 million to the central funding pot, as well as a lack of suitable apprenticeship standards.”
She added that with the prospect of losing access to vital EU workers, the shortage could reach catastrophic levels.
Gilson continued: “It has been immensely frustrating trying to secure funded training for the logistics sector. These apprenticeships would assist in promoting logistics professions and yet, over two years in, we feel like we’re no closer to gaining the standards we desperately need across the industry. Our members would love to use their levy funds and bring young people into the sector, but this is being thwarted by the Institute for Apprenticeships. The levy also ignores the other quality vocational training that could be utilised by businesses but can’t as all their training budgets are now taken up by paying the levy.
Gilson added: “Rather than forcing employers to try and make apprenticeships work for all training needs why not recognise that there is no one size fits all and amend this to a Training Levy? Alternatively, the money could be used as an emergency fund to assist employers facing extreme skills shortages due to the government’s restriction on EU workers. Without the reallocation of funds, the UK could not cope with the loss of European workers post-Brexit.”