The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a new guide aimed at assisting businesses in optimising off-the-job training for LGV and Urban Driver apprenticeships.

This comprehensive guide outlines the key aspects of off-the-job training, specifying the required hours and providing insights on its integration into the daily operations of haulage businesses.

Mandatory Component of Apprenticeships

Off-the-job training is a mandatory component of apprenticeships, involving dedicated study time away from regular work tasks, focusing on theoretical concepts and a broader understanding of the industry.

As outlined in the guide, for an activity to qualify as off-the-job training, it must:

1. Impart new knowledge, skills, or behaviours.

2. Directly align with the apprenticeship standard.

3. Occur during the apprentice's regular working hours.

Acceptable forms of off-the-job training include teaching theory, practical training, learning support, time allocated for assignment writing, and revision.

Examples from Guidelines

One example shared in the manual is “Lucy is an apprentice driver and currently only holds a category B car licence. To become a large goods vehicle (LGV) driver, she needs to learn to manoeuvre a lorry and is being taught by a qualified driving instructor. This forms part of the knowledge, skills and behaviours requirements of his apprenticeship and, therefore, counts as off-the-job training.”

However, it goes on to say, “If the apprentice already has a category C licence, they have some of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are needed for the apprenticeship standard. This must be recognised as prior learning and discounted from the apprentice’s training plan so that unnecessary training is not funded or delivered again.”

Engaging in math and/or English studies contributes to fulfilling the monthly active learning requirement. However, it does not contribute to the mandatory hours for off-the-job training.

Front-Loading Training

The guide also outlines strategies for "front-loading" training, allowing learners to obtain their license within the initial six months of the apprenticeship.

According to the DfT, the purpose of this guide is to speed up getting new drivers on the road to try and ease the current situation of not having enough drivers on the road.