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BIFA hails expanded access to apprenticeships for local SMEs

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) has voiced its support for a plan by the UK government to expand access to an apprenticeship service designed for small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs)

22 January 2020 - 19:00

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) has voiced its support for a plan by the UK government to expand access to an apprenticeship service designed for small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs).

BIFA director general Robert Keen explained that 90 per cent of BIFA corporate members are SMEs that do not qualify as levy-payers and have had restricted access to the apprenticeship service to date.



'The news that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFSA) is now expanding access to the apprenticeship service will be welcomed by companies within our membership who are non-levy payers as they will now have greater ownership, visibility and involvement with apprenticeships, funding and access to a wider range of high-quality training providers,' Mr Keen said.



'This means that SMEs within our membership will have greater control over the apprenticeships with which they engage, and could lead to a significant increase in the number of individuals enrolling on the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship, in which BIFA had a significant role prior to its launch in 2018.'



The early transition period through until March will serve as an initial test phase, during which time the EFSA will undertake large scale testing, seeking feedback from smaller employers and training providers.



During the test phase, extra funding will be made available for up to 15,000 new starts through the service.



In a separate development, the association has reminded members of the looming deadline by which they can apply for funding from a grant scheme to prepare for Brexit. The scheme offers an extra round of funding for employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations.


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