AP­PREN­TICE SCHEME ANGER

FBHVC says ‘rug has been pulled from un­der’ its feet. Gov­ern­ment in­sists fund­ing changes are needed

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Nick Larkin

Bri­tain’s only ac­cred­ited ap­pren­tice­ship course for clas­sic car restora­tions is un­der threat fol­low­ing new Gov­ern­ment pro­pos­als that have an­gered the scheme’s or­gan­is­ers.

Un­der new guidelines, stew­ard­ship of the cour­ses must to be in the hands of or­gan­i­sa­tions in the same line of busi­ness as the course sub­ject. The clas­sics pro­gramme is cur­rently un­der the aus­pices of the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs (FBVHC). In the case of a clas­sic restora­tion ap­pren­tice­ship, this would be have to be run by an en­gi­neer­ing con­cern.

‘We have set up this course and ad­min­is­tered it, and now we feel we’re hav­ing the rug pulled from un­der our feet,’ says FBHVC com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Ge­off Lan­caster.

Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Jes­sica Ware de­fends the changes. She says: ‘ The clas­sic car ap­pren­tice­ship is a very worth­while course and in­tro­duc­ing the levy will bring more money into ap­pren­tice­ship as a whole, a £2.5 bil­lion in­crease in fact.’

The FBHVC’s course had 60 par­tic­i­pants tak­ing cour­ses at Bices­ter Her­itage and Rolls-Royce and Bent­ley spe­cial­ist P&A Wood. ‘We were hop­ing that 100 stu­dents would be in­volved and more col­leges would run the course. It’s not in dan­ger, but there is un­cer­tainty over changes in leg­is­la­tion af­fect­ing all ap­pren­tice­ship schemes,’ adds Lan­caster.

The new aim is to change from di­rect Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for ap­pren­tice­ships to a levy on big busi­ness. No date has been an­nounced.

New pro­pos­als could strip the FBHVC of the right to set up clas­sic car train­ing cour­ses.

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