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Commercial Vehicle Engineer is the multi-award-winning online monthly for road transport engineers and fleet managers, delivering a unique blend of independent, well-informed analysis, hard-hitting comment and news on the commercial vehicle market and aftermarket. The May 2019 edition is now online.

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For the 2019 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



An “apprenticeship levy” scheme introduced by the government two years ago has failed to deliver on its promises. Far from rising, the number of people starting apprenticeships in the UK has plunged. For many commercial vehicle businesses which depend on skilled engineering staff, a skills shortage has been made even worse than it already was by what in effect is little more than a new stealth tax. In your latest edition, now online, we report on how companies such as Daf Trucks, Ryder and Tiger Trailers are taking matters into their own hands, tackling the problem head-on with imaginative training and recruitment schemes.

For transport engineers and fleet managers preparing to head for Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and the 2019 CV Show, we pick out a few more exhibits that they might want to have on must-visit lists.

Companies in the news include ZF, buying Wabco; Allison Transmission, diversifying at an electrifying pace; and workshop management software supplier R2C Online, acquired by the group behind the Keyfuels fuel-card operation.

People in the news this month include former Daf Trucks president Preston Feight, landing the top job at Paccar; Mark Nodder, retiring early from the chief executive’s post at bus-builder Wrights Group; and Kirk Freezer, leaving Scania (Great Britain) to take on the truck sales director director challenge at Iveco in the UK and Ireland.











Sun 28 Apr, 2019

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April 2019

3 Comment
Mind the gap, and let high-quality apprenticeships help to close it. The skills gap in the motor retail sector is already critical. So says someone who knows a thing or two about the subject: Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Steve Nash. He is talking mainly about the increasing difficulties facing car and van dealers in recruiting and retaining skilled workshop staff. The problem is probably even more acute in truck and bus workshops of all kinds, including independents and in-house operations as well as those run by franchised dealers, in many parts of the country. More and more evidence of the impact of this worsening commercial vehicle engineering skills shortage has been emerging recently, not least in our latest annual analysis of truck operating costs and in this month's report on apprenticeships. What is to be done about it? Government ministers would have you believe that the "apprenticeship levy" introduced two years ago will be helpful. In fact, as with almost everything this wretched government touches, this "levy" (scarcely more than a new business tax, in reality) has already done more harm than good. Far from encouraging growth in high-quality apprenticeships, as promised, the scheme actually has resulted in a plunge in their number. Excessive bureaucracy has put off many organisations. Firms too small to pay the new tax have seen their training subsidies cut. And a report last year from a centre-right think-tank showed that as many as 37% of people on apprenticeship schemes meeting the government's new standards were on courses that failed to meet international definitions for this training. Yet there is some good news. It is that commercial vehicle firms with established, high-quality apprenticeship schemes and some with new ones are side-stepping the government's cack-handed meddling by redoubling their efforts to attract apprentices and to raise the profile of all their workshop staff. More power to their elbows. Let's just hope that the message gets through, at last, to the many careers advisers who persistently fail to recognise the true value of commercial vehicle engineering.

4 Points of view
On complacency in workplace safety training; cleaning parts without resorting to solvent-related health risks; cyber security risks in road transport; and the unprecedented challenges facing commercial vehicle fleet managers.

10 News
Gearing up globally for electrification and connectivity. ZF buys Wabco as Allison Transmission diversifies.

11 News
Former Daf Trucks boss to take the reins at Paccar.

12 News
FleetCor Technologies is new R2C owner.

14 CV Show preview
Safety and sustainability to dominate show agenda?

18 Class action
Forget the sensationalist nonsense talked by Alan Sugar and his cronies on an inexplicably popular tv show. Real apprenticeships in commercial vehicle engineering invariably lead to worthwhile, satisfying careers. Frustrated by the apparent inability of many careers advisers to grasp this, forward-looking employers are taking matters into their own hands. Tim Blakemore reports.

22 News from the north
Looking ahead to the 2019 Association for Public Service Excellence show in Aviemore.

23 News from the north
The Transport News Truck Advocate with words of wisdom on your legal questions.

27 People and jobs
Mark Nodder retires from Wrights Group. Kirk Freezer leaves Scania to join Iveco. John Jennings leaves Suez UK to join Boughton Engineering.

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