With less than five months until the end of the UK’s Brexit transition period and, with many businesses having been preoccupied by the coronavirus pandemic, there is now an urgent need to build capacity to manage the complex new customs regime which will follow our exit from the EU single market.
Both the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the British International Freight Association (BIFA) have voiced concerns, with the RHA warning that an extra 50,000 private-sector customs agents will be needed to process the millions of additional import and export customs declarations.
A survey by BIFA found that almost three quarters of businesses wanted the Brexit transition period to be extended, with half saying they didn’t have sufficient staff to handle the additional regulatory requirements.
With businesses now receiving £2,000 for each new 16-24-year-old apprentice they recruit, and £1,500 for new apprentices aged 25 and over, there has never been a better time to promote apprenticeships and, particularly, freight forwarding apprenticeships.
Training can be funded through the apprenticeship levy or through government co-investment for SMEs and this will enable logistics businesses to start equipping a new generation with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead.
The businesses that thrive Post Brexit will be those who act now to build back better and start addressing the shortage of trained staff in a sector which is crucial to the UK economy.
We know that young people are bearing the brunt of the economic hit caused by Covid-19, yet they represent the talent that can help businesses to adapt and embrace the changes and opportunities that Brexit will bring.
With a wealth of young talent available, and significant Government incentives, we need businesses to act now to train or re-train a much-needed new generation of talent.
The International Freight Forwarding specialist apprenticeship offers them the chance to develop the skills needed to handle complex customs procedures while offering apprentices the prospect of a challenging and long-term career.
About the author
Neil Bates is Managing Director of Seetec Outsource