Imperial Commercials open ATF in Bristol

Truck dealer Imperial Commercials has invested £160,000 on a Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) at its Daf Trucks’ site in Bristol.

The ATF at the St Philips-based truck dealership was opened by Imperial’s regional director David Lewis (pictured right) and VOSA’s chief executive Alastair Peoples (pictured left). It is Imperial Commercials sixth ATF site across its 29-strong dealer network, and Lewis revealed that it will open further ATFs at Swindon and Worcester.

The ATF lane will be open three days, Tuesday to Thursday. Lewis said: “The benefit of offering operators MOT testing at the place of MOT preparation, and to local third parties, is something we recognised early on and this new purpose built facility, which includes a 15m test lane that can do two tests at once, is set up for maximum throughput.”

Peoples added: “Imperial Commercials’ ATF in Bristol has been purpose-designed and constructed (sic) it’s exactly what VOSA is looking for when it embarked on this process, and represents valuable additional testing capacity.”

Hauliers need to make their views known to secure apprenticeship funding boost

Hauliers must prove they want extra apprenticeship funding help to encourage government to change policy, according to Skills for Logistics.

After last month’s meeting of stakeholders at the Stobart Training Academy in Widnes (CM 1 November), the sector skills council has called on operators to make the case for a funding boost for apprentices to ensure a pipeline of talent for the future.

It comes after industry representatives me Matthew Hancock MP, minister for skills at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) last week and were told the door remains open for such a change but hinges on operators demonstrating backing for it.

At present, apprenticeships only attract full funding between the ages of 16 to 18. After this, the government meets half the cost.

However, given young drivers can only attain their provisional LGV licences at 18 and up, this presents a financial barrier for employers in road transport keen to attract new blood and head off the skills crisis.

BIS said it will consider 100% funding for 19- to 20-year-old apprentices but only if operators show they want this. Complete the apprenticeship survey to let your views on the subject be known.