Government funding to train up to 200 HGV drivers is being made available to Freight Transport Association members through a new partnership with The Real Apprenticeship Company.
Applications for funding will need to be made before the end of March, and trainees enrolled by the middle of April. Learners need to be aged 23 or below and hold a Category B (car) driving licence before starting the course.
A total fund of £1m has been secured by TRAC and, depending on the training programmes selected by employers, this would be sufficient to fund up to 200 drivers through driving licence acquisition training. It is being offered to FTA members and covers the full cost of approved training to include Category C and, potentially, C+E driving licence acquisition.
It will be the last tranche of government funding available that does not require a contribution from employers. Following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the funding rules will change, meaning only the smallest operators will not be liable for a contribution fee.
“This is a great opportunity for members to get free training for the drivers they are recruiting now,” Sally Gilson, the FTA’s Head of Skills Campaigning, said. “We are pleased to be able to offer this funding to members to help them tackle the persistent shortage of qualified HGV drivers."
Pierre de Carteret, Chief Operating Officer at The Real Apprenticeship Company, added: “While there is currently a reduced appetite to commence training apprentices now, there is a very clear economic rationale for doing so. This is most definitely a case of use it or lose it, and it’s extremely unlikely the government will provide another funding opportunity like this again.”