MSE transport apprenticeship scheme introduced

The RHA and Close Brothers Asset Finance have joined forces to launch a programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) secure the skills they need for future growth by recruiting young drivers into the transport sector.

Through the ‘RHA/Close Brothers SME Apprentice Scheme – 20/20’, Close Brothers will contribute to the cost of apprentices for 20 SME members of the RHA (those with less than 20 vehicles).

The partnership is part of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s commitment to supporting SMEs. With the support of the RHA, the partnership will help SMEs recruit and train the next generation of Large Goods Vehicle Drivers.

Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive said, ‘Right now the road transport sector has a massive 45,000 driver shortage and in today’s economic climate, many smaller operators simply cannot afford to take on apprentice drivers. This new initiative will go a long way to providing 20 companies with the funding they need to give them and the industry they service a real boost.’

John Fawcett, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance Transport division, said, ‘Britain’s transport companies urgently need to recruit and train a new generation of skilled drivers if they are to grow in an increasingly competitive market. We believe this pioneering scheme will provide genuine financial support to the SME sector.’

The first intake will be in September 2017 and the apprenticeship lasts for one year.