RHA urges government to reform apprenticeship levy to help plug skills gaps

London, UK: The Road Haulage Association is calling on the government to replace the apprenticeship levy with a ‘skills levy’ in England.

The current scheme only allows firms to use funding for apprenticeships and the RHA says it “does not suit the needs of businesses”. A skills levy would allow operators to use levy funds for a broader range of training programmes, including short modular courses and bootcamps, argues the association.

Road transport operators have pumped £735m into the apprenticeship levy pot since it was launched in 2017. However, they have only been able to draw down on around 20%, as training options under the scheme are limited.

Richard Smith, RHA managing director, said: “It’s been long established that the Apprenticeship Levy doesn’t work for our industry. The criteria to apply for funding is too restrictive which is why firms in our sector are getting so little back, and therefore unable to recruit and train the staff they need.

“This is why we’re calling for a skills levy to replace the current system to make sure it better meets the needs of businesses – and there’s no more pertinent time than now as firms grapple with spiralling energy costs.”

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