create your own website

Apprenticeship fees halve for small businesses

If you weren’t already aware, on Monday 29th October, the Treasury announced that the 10% fee small businesses must pay when taking on apprentices will be halved. The news was received positively by the logistics sector. I spoke to our Managing Director, David Coombes, to get his thoughts on the news.

What impact do you think this reduction in fees will have on apprenticeships?
Firstly, we are delighted that the chancellor has chosen to reduce the cost of apprenticeship training for non-levy payers, with the government now committing to paying a contribution of 95% of the apprenticeship fee and the employer paying the remaining 5%. This is a major and positive shift which the industry has been pushing hard for since the levy has been introduced. This should enable training providers to work closely with smaller businesses to increase the number of apprenticeships on offer. 

What impact will this have for the logistics sector?
Well, we have seen less than 10% of logistics businesses take on apprentices since the levy was introduced, it’s certainly going to encourage non-levy payers to start thinking about the real value they can gain from apprenticeships. I’m sure there will be a big change in encouraging smaller business to take on apprentices now.

What are your thoughts on the Treasury backtracking on the start date for the apprenticeship fee cut which was set to be April 2019?
I don’t understand why this has happened, the change should really be made at the start of a new financial year. April 2019 is the best possible time and with that being the mark of two years into the levy, it sends the right message. By talking about the reduction and subsequently not giving an actual date of when this will take effect, it sends mixed messages. Spreading uncertainty in this way is bad for development.

Do you think a consequence of a rumoured later start would incentivise employers to delay their apprenticeship recruitment?
By April 2019 it will be two years since the levy started. The incentive is very much to use up the pot before the end of the two years. Providing it isn’t later than the new financial year, I’m hopeful it won’t have a major impact. 

As you’ve mentioned, by April 2019, it’ll be two years since the levy came into effect, do you think that this is too soon to make changes whilst it’s still very much in its infancy?
That’s been a large part of the argument to not make the change, but actually I think two years is within a good time frame. We can’t wait any longer for this change, otherwise, all the government’s targets will be missed, and the opportunity will pass. We’ve seen the slow take-up – there needs to be other incentives to improve apprenticeship starts.

What else do you think the government could be doing to incentivise people to be taking up the apprenticeships?
The apprenticeship levy is a blunt tool. Within the pot, there should be a budget for attraction or the option to spend on advice and support as there is still a lot of confusion around what the best apprenticeships are for different businesses.

Any other thoughts?
I think in the current economic climate, any additional cost to businesses is tough, but the value an organisation receives from well-trained employees can be a life-saver. It reduces staff turnover and increases productivity, meaning less waste and an improvement in job efficiency.

It was great to hear David’s thoughts, but what about you? We’d love to hear your views on this. What does this reduction in fee mean for you? Whatever your thoughts, we’d love to have a chat - Email or Tweet us now.

Sarah Gunston 5th November 2018 

Why apprentices are valuable. 

Why apprentices are valuable for the logistics sector
To ensure your business has the workforce it needs to deliver future growth, now is the time to take action and invest in future talent. One of the best ways to do this is to take on an apprentice.
Apprentices offer your company the opportunity to ensure your business has the workforce it needs. Hiring an apprentice means that you can mould the next generations of employees to the way your company works. 83% of employees would recommend apprenticeships to others looking to gain these skills (Employer guide to Apprenticeships, 2017). 
You can find out more about hiring in apprentice here.

New standards
Apprenticeships give individuals the opportunity to earn an income while they train and develop their skills. New apprenticeship standards were launched in May last year, these offer apprenticeships in a wide range of occupations in the logistics sector. These aren’t just for school leavers, anyone can now take on an apprenticeship. The new standards range from entry points at level 2, all the way to a Bachelor degree at level 6. 
The new standards now require the assessment at the end of an apprenticeship to be undertaken by an independent company known as the ‘End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO)’. This assessment ensures that apprentices are trained to the highest standard to complete their role within an organisation, and will benefit employers by ensuring a highly skilled workforce. 

The full list of standards for the transport and logistics sector can be found here.
Government funding
To help out with funding an apprentice the government now offers help in the form of the Apprenticeship Levy which is specifically focused on increasing apprenticeship uptake. 
You can find more about funding here. 

Skills for Logistics
Skills for Logistics is a not-for-profit with the aim to aid the logistics sector. We specialise in a variety of services, including:

Apprenticeship Levy consultancy – how you can use the Levy to get the best results for your organisation

EPAO – we are now approved as the EPAO for 3 different standards within the logistics sector: Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver, Supply Chain Operator and Supply Chain Warehouse Operative.

Get in touch with us today to find out how your firm can benefits from apprentices, how you can use your Apprenticeship Levy pot, or to enquire about our End Point Assessment services.

Email us to find out more.

End Point Assessment - Why us?

End Point Assessment – Why us?


We are very pleased to announce that on the 13th December Skills for Logistics were awarded LGV Driver End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) status, and will be listed on the register later this week.

An EPA is the independent and objective assessment carried out after an apprentice has completed their training. The aim is to confirm full competence of skills, knowledge and behaviour of the apprentice in order to sign them off as an LGV Driver. Skills for Logistics applied to be an EPAO earlier this year as we felt that the register was lacking an impartial, logistics specific organisation which had the ability to focus solely on the needs of the logistics, distribution and supply industry. As a not-for-profit for the logistics sector our vision is to deliver the best skilled logistics workforce for the UK, being a high quality EPAO will help us do this.  

Contact us immediately for more information on our End Point Assessment services, and to arrange your EPA.

Call us on 0117 9278800 or email 


Skills for Logistics (2015) Ltd
13 Berkeley Square

Email:   Phone: 0117 927 8800 
Fax: 0117 927 2315