July 22, 2019

Don't Lose Your Apprenticeship Funding

If you’ve got a haulage business, the phrase “use it or lose it” has taken on a whole new meaning. The UK Treasury has warned that millions of pounds of funding that’s been allocated to apprenticeship training schemes will disappear in a puff of exhaust emissions if it’s not used! So if your haulage business has been paying the levy, don’t waste it…

Apprenticeship Funding Goes Begging

Here are the quick facts.

  • The scheme came in to effect in April 2017.
  • Any haulage business with a staff bill of over £3m is required to pay a levy of 0.5% of this into an apprenticeship fund.
  • If the funding is not used within two years it reverts to the Treasury.

For any eagle-eyed mathematicians out there, you may have noticed that the first instances of this may be happening already as it is now two years since the inception of the programme. Cue the panic…

Don’t Waste Your Levies

The FTA has noted some significant flaws in the programme, owing to lack of knowledge of how the funds can be spent.

  • Some haulage business operators are not aware they can allocate up to 25% of their fund to sub-contractors.
  • Another very important factor not everyone is aware of is that the Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver Apprenticeship scheme is open to any age. As the high costs of insuring under 25’s is very often a contributing factor when recruiting, this can be a real game changer for a haulage business.

The Limitations

But before you rush out and start recruiting to use up the money you’ve paid through levies, the FTA points out that in many cases, funds remain unclaimed due to the limitations of the scheme in terms of what it actually offers.

They say that while the industry is in the grips of a skills shortage, the levy is being wasted because the scheme is simply not suited to industry training needs. They are suggesting it be changed from an apprenticeship levy to a ‘training’ levy, so it can be used more appropriately.

If you’ve got an apprenticeship levy fund that’s coming up to the two-year anniversary, it’s time to get your skates on! Consider allocating some of that 25% to your contractors, or hiring some new mature-aged LGV drivers – it’s your money, after all, so you may as well use it. And nobody wants the Treasury to get more than they deserve…

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