July Restart for LGV and PCV Vocational Training

We are delighted at the announcement from the DVSA yesterday that LGV and PCV Vocational Training can resume from next month, albeit on a limited basis for the time being. Having worked closely with the DVSA during the pandemic, we are delighted to have been able to support and represent the industry’s concerns during this difficult few months.

Skills for Logistics continues to support LGV training businesses to ensure DVSA grow examiner capacity to 100,000 to meet the backlog and new increasing future demand.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to solve the 60,000 driver shortage, providing a worthwhile career to those looking to join our vibrant and innovative sector!!

Allez Calais !



Industry Losing Thousands of New Drivers as LGV Testing Remains Suspended

At the start of the Covid19 lockdown, the DVSA suspended testing of new LGV drivers and no new drivers have entered the industry since that date.  Unfortunately the DVSA has still not confirmed when LGV driving tests will resume, leading to fears that the transport industry will soon see a worsening of the driver shortage.

At Skills for Logistics we felt it was particularly important to engage directly with the 150 plus LGV training providers across the UK, by conducting a survey asking whether the LGV training sector can bounce back to tackle the back log of 20,000 + lost driving tests.

Providers were asked about their degree of confidence that their LGV training business can resume operations and meet the increase in demand when DVSA testing resumes.

  • 77% were moderately to very confident about the outlook and will be ready to return to pre pandemic volumes or greater
  • 5% were doubtful about their chances of survival
  • 18% suggesting that their business would be adversely affected in a way that would reduce their capacity to deliver

These comments were based on a full resumption of testing on the 22nd of June, if there is any delay in resumption of testing beyond 22nd June the outlook would be entirely different.

Paul Spink, development director of Skills for Logistics, is in regular contact with the DVSA and around 150 training providers, none of which have been able to train LGV drivers since March.

“The DVSA announced it was suspending all testing on 20 March until at least 22 June,” said Paul. “The DVSA’s 1,800 driving examiners conduct 75,000 LGV tests every year or around 1,500 a week, so the industry has effectively lost 20,000 new drivers in the 13-week shutdown. This would equate to approx. 240,000 tonnes of lost cargo movements every day.

“What is more worrying is that it is highly unlikely that testing will resume on 22 June and, when it does, examiners will be doing 3 tests a day, rather than 4, to enable the examiners and candidates to put on fresh PPE and the vehicle to be cleaned. So the backlog of new drivers wanting training and testing is only going to get bigger.”

“The industry has effectively lost 20,000 new drivers in the 13-week shutdown. This would equate to approx. 240,000 tonnes of lost cargo movements every day”.

Even when tests do resume, we are told that priority will be given to key industries such as the emergency services and possibly food and medical distribution: leaving other would-be truck drivers at the back of a growing queue. There are plans to retrain thousands of bus drivers who have been laid off as truck drivers, and while their Driver CPCs would be valid, they will still need to take their LGV driving test.

While current legislation allows fleet operators to get their own examiners qualified to carry out driving tests – a practice common in the passenger sector – Paul knows of only 4 of these “delegated” examiners in the freight sector. “It is possible for fleet operators to employ their own examiners if they complete a DVSA course at Cardington,” he said. “But its costs £7,500 and the delegated examiner cannot test a driver he or she has trained.”

Here at Skills for Logistics, we would like to see training providers be able to employ delegated examiners to carry out tests but this would require a change in the law. “The DVSA already relies on training companies to provide almost half of the LGV examination centres, so it is outsourcing much of its estate to the private sector,” Paul said. “It has also outsourced the Module 4 practical demonstration element of the Driver CPC to training companies so why not allow 10% or 20% of the UK’s 540 LGV instructors with the right expertise to become delegated examiners?”

Tell us your thoughts.



skills for logistics announce announce remote LGV driver standard
LGV Driver Standard Delivery Now Undertaken Remotely

We’ve been working closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), and our industry external quality assurance provider, NSAR,to agree an alternative means of delivering EPA’s in a safe manner during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Skills for Logistics is now pleased to announce that with immediate effect we are in a position to commence remote delivery of EPA for LGV Driver apprenticeships. Our assessment methodology, agreed with IFATE and NSAR, is based on the following plan:

  • Knowledge test – via our own bespoke online portal
  • Practical driving observation – via witness testimonies, supported by Professional Discussion

With the health and well-being of learners and assessors at the forefront of any new developments, one challenge was how to conduct the in-cab practical assessment in a safe way and it has now been agreed that the practical assessment will be conducted adopting the use of in-cab protective screens.

NSAR has subsequently issued corresponding guidance notes for further clarity and transparency (NSAR EQA Guidance Note – LGV Practical Driving Assessment & Covid-19, 15th May 2020 v1.1) – please get in touch with us if you would like a copy.

Skill for Logistics Chief Executive David Coombes

Chief Executive, David Coombes, said, “We are delighted to announce that our new and revised assessment plans fully meet the requirements of IFATE and NSAR for the full delivery of the entire LGV Driver standard on a remote basis. Skills for Logistics is in a unique position with a proven track record of remote delivery via our own existing bespoke online knowledge portal.”

Bookings from Monday 18th May

We will commence this remote EPA operation with immediate effect and will be pleased to receive your bookings from 09.00hrs on Monday 18th May. Please contact Lanre Yebovi on: Phone: 0117 927 8800 lanre@skillsforlogistics.co.uk

Support from our Head of Quality and Assessment

Our head of quality and assessment, Gary Mackay has worked on this project throughout and will be pleased to support and assist you with any questions or queries you may have. Gary can be contacted on: Phone: 07384 118084 Email: gary.mackay@skillsforlogistics.co.uk

Tension between lower level and high-level apprenticeship training provision needs to be resolved.

As an end-point assessor our main focus is apprenticeships. The work we do is predicated on the advice and regulations laid out by the government. In many respects, these new apprenticeship standards, the levy, the shift in definitions, expectations and opportunities resemble one large experiment.

We, like many other in the education sector, are excited by the potential and are starting to see good numbers of apprentices go through end-point assessment.

We are also seeing businesses move past perceiving the Levy as merely an additional tax. Critically in our sector, logistics, we finally have a vocational training opportunity that could help resolve the skills crisis.

If you were not already aware, Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) drivers alone have an average age of 53 in the UK and, depending on who you listen to, hundreds of thousands of new recruits are needed to address shortages by 2024.

However, there are real issues affecting the viability of this experiment. Businesses are opting for higher level apprenticeships, which is resulting in an overspend of the apprenticeship budget. I’m sure there are many reasons contributing to this situation but here is what we’ve observed in our sector…

Read the full article here.

The Apprenticeship Levy – 2 years on.

The 6th April 2019 marked the 2 years anniversary of the apprenticeship levy coming into effect and I believe it has taken quite literally that amount of time for most employers and stakeholders to fully understand it.

Working with The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute), we can see the direct impact the new standards are having on employer behaviour and how apprenticeships are being embedded into workforce planning and talent pipelines. As Anne Milton highlighted, apprenticeships bring new blood into businesses, they promote local talent and upskill the existing workforce.

Going forward, there is still a lot to do, particularly with non-levy payers and entry level standards. I know the government want to see the Institute become much more transparent and to build more open and fluid relationships with employers, and the Institute to be viewed as facilitators rather than just a regulator.

I see my role at the Institute very much as an ambassador and certainly engaging as much as possible with employers and training providers – encouraging full usage of the levy pot. If not this route, then definitely to promote the opportunity to transfer 25% to connected businesses in oppose to losing it month by month.

10th April 2019 David Coombes

Twitter | LinkedIn

Beyond just the logistics

We had the pleasure of meeting Martin Corner at the Automotive Logistics Summit, Martin is the Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Nissan Europe. We spoke about management effectiveness, specifically within the logistics sector and Martin was kind enough to do an interview with us here at Skills for Logistics to elaborate further.

How have you seen the logistics sector transform over your career?

The transformational use of analytics and forecasting have really optimised the supply chain end to end, it’s just at the beginnings for the automotive sector.

What are the changes you see for the future workforce of logistics and supply chain?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology will start to take over the administrative and data management side of the role.  Once this happens it will allow the supply chain team to become more focussed on business management. The future requirements of a supply chain professional will be influencing skills, communication, strategic business acumen and leadership.  It will be an opportunity for a new generation of supply chain professionals to develop a fulfilling career.

When we last spoke, we discussed the importance of empathy in management style, could you elaborate further?

In my opinion, respecting the strengths and style of the individual and giving them the encouragement to flourish and be the best version of themselves yields the best results.  Listening and giving people the space to define their own ideas and solutions, rather than prescribing your own ideas, drives motivation through teams and individuals.

How do you feel good management has influenced your career?

Hugely, when you have a manager who; trusts, respects, listens, supports, challenges constructively (crucial point) and adds value with suggestion and guidance, it makes a significant difference. Being given the space to go beyond your objectives and drive change is hugely motivating – the right line manager is crucial in making this happen.

What management paths do you think are available for the supply chain & logistics sector that maybe aren’t being utilised currently?

I think that people pursuing a career in this sector have an opportunity to grow their careers more than at any time in the past.  This could be towards more general business management and even board level roles due to the unique positioning of supply chain as a function, touching all parts of the business. Equally it could be as a technical supply chain specialist working on the new technologies that should help revolutionise the sector in the future.

What would you say the priority is for the Supply Chain & logistics sector to tackle first?

Look to the supply chain of the future and work backwards. Year on year efficiencies are great but the step change needed to really optimise data analytics/forecasting, AI, automation and robotics requires some ambition and planning.  We need to imagine what the world can look like in 10/20 years’ time and make a roadmap to get there as fast as possible. What will customers want and how will the technology we see coming help deliver this revolution?

Your final thoughts Martin?

For me supply chain is the most exciting part of the business to work in.  Anyone considering a career which gives both a specialism and a total business overview should look no further. It is a function which concurrently operates on both a short-term delivery and long-term strategic basis which is immensely satisfying from both an intellectual and motivational perspective.

It was a great opportunity to talk to Martin and hear his thoughts, but what about you? If you’ve got any insights you’d like to share on the supply chain and logistics industry and management then please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you – Tweet us!

If you’d like to connect with Martin on Linkedin, please do show that you have read this article in your request.

Sarah Gunston 1st April 2019