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Call for apprenticeship cash to be used for driver training

Date: 08 September 2020   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Businesses should be encouraged to use the UK Government's apprenticeship levy fund driver training for young employees, according to IAM Roadsmart.

The charity says the government should actively encourage firms to use the money for this purpose, which it says could help save lives as well as help develop young workers' skills.

The government announced last week that employers of all sizes can apply for funding worth up to £2,000 for each apprentice under the age of 25.

In a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, IAM Roadsmart interim chief executive officer Tony Greenidge has said the government should make it clearer that corporate driver training is included in the list of training activities that can be funded by the levy.

Greenidge said: "Providing driver training to all apprentices who will be using a vehicle in the course of their work has the potential to make a huge contribution to road safety. For a minimum investment formal driver training is a valuable additional skill that will enhance their working life and bolster their CV at a time when employment prospects for young people are expected to be particularly tough.

"Around 90% of all collisions are caused by human error and typically one in four fleet vehicles is affected each year. 

"With costs averaging £1,700 per incident there are real financial and operational benefits for businesses, the government and the general public."

Greenidge said that in addition to the employee safety benefits, driver training could reduce companies' fuel bills, and also help to cut maintenance, insurance, sickness and repair costs.

He added: "It is well-known that young drivers are the most at risk group on our roads. Improved driving skills and a safer attitude to driving are, we believe, key benefits that will assist young people and help keep them employable in the current economic crisis."