The managing director of Moody Logistics and Storage has written to the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon, urging him to tackle the shortage of qualified vehicle technicians which is inhibiting the logistics sector.
Caroline Moody says the family-run firm based in Cramlington, Northumberland, has already overcome the nationwide shortage of qualified HGV drivers by developing its own fast track apprenticeship scheme – but warns the crisis surrounding the recruitment of qualified vehicle technicians could affect the growth of the UK economy by forcing vans and lorries off the road.
She argues the current four year vehicle technician apprenticeship is no longer fit for purpose as it is largely designed for 16-year-olds – at a time when there is declining interest among school leavers in the technical trades.
Writing to the Minister, she says: “Existing vehicle technician courses lack flexibility and fail to distinguish between individuals entering the field directly from school and those transitioning from other careers.
“To address this crisis, we propose the creation of more flexible and tailored training programmes that accommodate individuals with higher levels of mechanical knowledge and experience. This approach would allow for a shorter qualification period and attract individuals who could bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application.”
Its sister company, Heathline Commercials, which specialises in the repair and servicing of commercial vehicles, has struggled to recruit qualified vehicle technicians and recently recruited one of Moody’s own Class 1 drivers as a trainee after he opted for a change of career.
It had already been seeking a trainee with Class 1 licence, to benefit from their practical experience and knowledge of trucks and how they operate.
Concluding her letter, Caroline Moody added: “The shortage of qualified vehicle technicians poses severe consequences for the logistics sector, which forms the backbone of the nation’s economy. Rectifying this shortage requires a concerted effort, including increased government investment in retraining programmes for older workers and a re-evaluation of the perception surrounding vocational and technical education.
“We urge you to consider the importance of this matter and take proactive steps to address the apprenticeship crisis in the logistics sector.”