The Freight sector wants Government funds redirected to keep Britain moving after the Coronavirus epidemic eases.
With more than 12,000 people losing their jobs in the past week across the UK, and many more redundancies expected as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme winds down, the business group representing the logistics sector is urging government to permit the switching of the industry’s Apprenticeship Levy payments to a Skills Levy, enabling businesses to retrain staff in new roles.
FTA, the largest membership organisation in the sector, is querying why government has not allowed monies collected during the pandemic under the current Levy scheme to be redirected to fund retraining for employees facing the threat of redundancy.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, logistics workers have been on the frontline, keeping businesses, retailers, hospitals and schools stocked with the goods and materials they need to keep going,” says Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at FTA.
“At the same time, many businesses in the sector have continued to pay into the government’s Apprenticeship Levy fund but have been unable to draw down the cash necessary to finance new starters into the sector, generally because apprenticeship standards for the vacancies they have are not yet available.
“With many new job opportunities arising as a result of the UK’s new future relationship with the EU at the end of the year, now would be an ideal time to use the funding as a training grant to start retraining workers in the sector to fulfil new roles in customs and trade procedures, rather than making them redundant after the pandemic. Logistics businesses cannot afford to pay twice to train staff.”