Concerns have been expressed by the Road Haulage Association that many transport companies are still unaware that they will be required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017. Colin Snape, RHA deputy policy director – employment and skills, estimates that the levy will be payable by haulage firms with roughly 80 trucks or more or those with smaller fleets that have other activities within the business, such as van operations, warehousing, or workshops.
The levy doesn’t have to be bad news for the industry however. “The only way firms can avoid simply losing the money they pay in this new tax is to get it back as funding for an apprenticeship,” Colin says. If a firm has an annual PAYE bill of £5,000,000, they will pay £25,000 in levy that can be claimed back for apprenticeship training along with a 10% top-up from the government. Colin concludes that this new scheme “should be an important new opportunity for firms of all sizes to take better control of the recruitment and training of staff.”
The new Trailblazer apprenticeships for the industry, such as LGV Driver, Warehouse Operative, and Supply Chain Operative (for those working in a traffic office), will help provide such opportunities. Not only can new recruits join a business through one of these apprenticeships but existing staff can receive apprenticeship training using Levy funds.
Perhaps you have some warehouse operatives who might be looking for new opportunities within your company. Could they join your driving team via an LGV Driver apprenticeship? The vacancy that they leave in the warehouse can be back filled by recruiting a new apprentice via a Warehouse Operative apprenticeship. You receive the double advantage of a new driver who knows your company’s operations, brand, and products from the first day and a new warehouse operative who appreciates the company for the clear career progression that is seen from the first day.
If you want to speak to one of our Levy advisers about how to make the levy work for your business, please get in touch by calling 0845 609 9003 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.