THE Apprenticeship Levy is ‘fast becoming a tax’. That’s the warning from Road Haulage Association chief executive, Richard Burnett.

Speaking at the RHA’s Autumn Conference Centre in Birmingham he voiced the frustrations hauliers have unlocking funding as the industry faces up to a growing skills shortage. ‘The haulage sector has paid in £120m to the Levy yet has only been able to draw down on £10m as it tackles the shortfall of more than 50,000 drivers,’ he said

‘Why should it be such a battle to persuade the government to support initiatives like Road to Logistics and provide a more flexible Apprenticeship Levy that actually supports our industry?’

Mr Burnett said that government adopting the Migration Advisory Committee‘s skills based recommendations on migrant labour was only going to make the situation worse. The RHA has called for exemptions for the sector to allow UK firms to employ HGV drivers from the EU.