“Forwarding businesses have many difficult commercial decisions to make, but shelving apprenticeships should not be one of them.
“It is vital to continue to recruit freight forwarding apprentices and build capacity to start equipping a new generation with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead in the post EU-Exit and post Covid-19 world.”
BIFA says that the fall in apprenticeships is not just a freight industry problem. Government statistics show a sharp decline in apprenticeship starts across the entire country. However, for the freight industry the issue is even more acute because of a huge upsurge in its workload both before and after the end of the EU-Exit transition period.
Hobbis, who has management responsibility for BIFA’s training and development services, adds: “We are at an important crossroads and we must protect the future of the sector as we meet the changing supply chain management demands that have resulted from the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU.”
He says that the International Freight Forwarding specialist apprenticeship, which BIFA helped to create in 2018, is an ideal entry point for the industry with around 500 apprentices having taken the pathway already, with great success.
He adds that available finance should not be an issue. Significant funding is available as part of the government’s support scheme for training and apprenticeships. Until March 2021, to support employers to take on more apprentices, the government is offering up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire.