The new apprentice standard introduced for truck drivers has been welcomed by the transport sector.

However, caution is being urged with regards implementation of the scheme by operators.

Furthermore, Logistics UK is also calling on the government to extend the incentive payment scheme.

Specifically, the trade body says the deadline for the £3,000 payment should stretch beyond the end of September. 

The new apprentice standard enables new drivers to get behind the wheel of C+E category vehicles.

Therefore, it is designed to help the growing driver shortage issue in the UK.

Alex Veitch, general manager of public policy, Logistics UK, said the new scheme was positive news. 

“The apprenticeship model of “earning while learning” adds appeal for new entrants to a logistics career,” he stated. 

However, Veitch was concerned about operators only having six weeks to learn a lot about the scheme.

For example, the Logistics UK man mentioned the parameters of the apprenticeship and identifying training providers.

In addition, the recruitment process for the new apprentice standard was also an issue, he warned.

“Opportunities for businesses in our sector to take advantage of the government’s signing-on incentive are very limited.

The logistics sector currently faces an shortage of around 90,000 drivers according to Logistics UK. 

Therefore, the goal of the programme is to ensure businesses get the drivers they need for long-term stability.

“Our sector has kept the UK stocked with all it requires throughout the pandemic,” continued Veitch. 

“But, now is the time for our industry to attract new employees. 

Concluding, Veitch said government could help to bridge the gap in cash flow for businesses. 

“Many businesses have experienced this because of the pandemic.

The new apprentice standard would, he said, assist in futureproofing the workforce.