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Apprenticeship Levy system failing logistics industry, says Logistics UK

The UK’s apprenticeship system needs a radical overhaul if businesses which make regular Levy payments into the scheme are to be able to train new recruits using these funds, according to a new report from business group Logistics UK.

According to Logistics UK’s Logistics Skills Review 2023, there is great interest across industry to take on apprentices. However, over the past five years only 4% of levy-paying employer accounts were able to utilise the funds available to them fully. 

Michelle Gardner, Deputy Director of Policy at Logistics UK, explains: “Our latest report found that the total estimated amount of funding possible to be recovered by businesses in transport and logistics since the levy was introduced was £250 million. 

“However, during the same period, the sector paid in £825 million in levy funds. This is unacceptable – especially considering the current economic climate – and highlights the urgent need to overhaul the Apprenticeship Levy, especially if industry’s long-term skills shortage is to be resolved. 

“With 68% of respondents to Logistics UK’s survey interested in taking on apprentices, it’s clear there’s demand across industry to support growing talent, but the current system is fundamentally flawed.  

“Traditionally, there have been many barriers to entry for candidates and businesses, such as minimum skills requirements and minimum duration of the apprenticeship – many of which do not apply to logistics roles – as well as restrictive business size specifications, which prevent further uptake of the training scheme. 

“Since 2021, Logistics UK has been highlighting to government the need for the current system to be replaced with a more flexible Training Levy to enable realistic training and development programmes for new recruits.  

“The industry itself is working hard to fill skills gaps and introduce the next generation of workers to the sector via initiatives such as Generation Logistics. However, it’s now vital that government responds accordingly, to remove barriers and ensure a skilled workforce continues to be available to keep the UK economy supplied with everything it needs.”

To view a copy of the report, please visit: www.logistics.org.uk/research-hub/reports/logistics-skills-review  

Published On: 17/08/2023 13:00:00


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In its response to the call for evidence, Logistics UK highlighted that the logistics sector is becoming more data driven and integrated:  however, logistics and freight data tends to be intertwined with general transport data. Logistics UK argued that better separation would allow for more specific, tailored strategies that address the unique challenges and opportunities within the logistics industry. 

Logistics UK’s full response is available here – members must log in to the portal to view.  

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