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Dickson Welcomes Update on HGV Apprenticeships but Urges Faster Expansion of Opportunities

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has welcomed an indication from the Economy Minister, that work is being undertaken to expand Department for the Economy Apprenticeship schemes, which may help with the HGV Driver shortage.

In a response to an Assembly Written Question the Economy Minister stated that: “Work is underway to amend the age eligibility of ApprenticeshipsNI to make them available to older apprentices.”

In response, Mr Dickson commented: “I welcome the Department’s work on expanding apprenticeships to all ages, as we must ensure that lifelong learning and opportunities are available to all, regardless of age.

“Currently we have a serious shortage of HGV Drivers across the UK, as a result of Brexit and the Covid-19 Pandemic. This has translated to a shortage of goods in certain places, and delays in shipping, having an impact on daily lives. This demonstrates just how vital HGV Drivers are to our logistics across the UK and world.

“So it is clear that the Economy Minister needs to urgently work on expanding and funding apprenticeships in this area, to maximise the number of drivers in Northern Ireland, and help tackle this shortage.”

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