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LGV Driver Apprenticeship May Soon Cover C & E Licences

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In April 2019, a survey carried out by the logistics industry Trailblazer Group revealed that hauliers across the country are looking for industry support for the inclusion of the C and E licence categories in the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship.

The argument is that without the inclusion of these categories, the apprenticeship is failing to address the needs of those doing (or aspiring to do) haulage work in the UK. A meeting will be held this month to discuss the matter further and decide on the outcome.

Category Overview

Currently, for medium-sized vehicles there are two separate licence categories: C1 and C1E. With a C1, vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg (with adjoining trailers of up to 750kg) can be driven, and with C1E the trailer weight limit is permitted to increase to over 750kg. The combined maximum authorised mass (MAM) is not allowed to exceed 12,000kg.

There is an additional two categories for large vehicles: C and CE. Category C licence holders are permitted to drive HGVs weighing over 3,500kg as well as a trailer weighing up to 750kg. With CE the trailer limit can exceed 750kg.

The Need for Inclusion

Since the battle to encourage young people to consider a career in haulage work is becoming ever more crucial as we experience more driver shortages, it has also become more important than ever that more licence categories are included in HGV apprenticeship schemes.

The FTA has warned that without the necessary inclusion, the scheme is ‘not fit for purpose’, since it does not support aspiring hauliers well enough. Driver shortage simply cannot be tackled if not all drivers are catered for with large vehicle apprenticeship schemes.

Following the majority of survey participants supporting the inclusion of C and E licences, The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) will have to consider how they can modify their driver scheme so as not to penalise those in haulage work who only pay for a C licence. They do say you can’t please everyone, but hopes are high that the IFATE can find a way to make the necessary changes, while avoiding any possible negative effects they may have on others in the industry.

Further Support

Funding was another issue mentioned in the survey, and as it turns out, the majority of respondents agreed that it should be increased from £5,000 to £7,000. This would also make a huge difference in terms of driver shortages, as young people might feel more inclined to consider a career in the industry and apply for the course if it were better facilitated.

A meeting will be held to decide on the outcome of these proposed changes, and hopefully all those in haulage work (or considering it) will find a way to benefit. While the shortage of drivers is a widespread issue, and these changes promise to have a positive effect, the general industry support that they will bring is something that will benefit all current industry workers, too.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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