Awarding body VTCT has beefed up its apprenticeship end-point assessment (EPA) operation by taking over Skills for Logistics.
Skills for Logistics, which claims to have a 25 per cent market share in apprenticeship assessments in the logistics sector, became a subsidiary of VTCT last week.
The move adds eight apprenticeship standards to VTCT’s EPA roster, taking its total to 31 and making the charitable trust the joint tenth largest end-point assessment organisation.
VTCT chief executive Alan Woods said the acquisition will help ease the process to gain Ofqual recognition for Skills for Logistics – suggesting that the latter has to date been unsuccessful in getting EPA recognition from the regulator in its own right.
Skills for Logistics offers assessments for LGV drivers, supply chain warehouse operative and supply chain practitioners. As the UK struggles to deal with widespread and well-documented lorry driver shortages, VTCT’s ability to bring “that size and scale to their operation” as part of the acquisition will be significant, Woods said.
“We now have 31 EPA standards that we are responsible for, so we’ve got size and quality that we’re bringing to the game,” he added.
“But we also need to have that quality and rigour from Skills for Logistics – they have got fantastic employer relationships.”
Woods said the takeover will not lead to any redundancies, adding that VTCT will use some of the “firepower on our balance sheet” to take Skills for Logistics into new areas, which will “enable them to develop some new products and services”.
VTCT’s presence in the logistics sector will be expanded, as it aims to “develop ourselves into an organisation which is working in as large a part of the foundation economy” as is appropriate.
David Coombes, the managing director at Skills for Logistics, and Paul Spink, the company’s development director will continue to lead the business while the same board will still be in place.
VTCT meanwhile will “continually look” for acquisitions which will help them improve their provision within the foundation economy.