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Category Archive: Apprenticeships

  1. Training the next Generation

    A staunch advocate of apprenticeships,  RH Commercial Vehicles is responding to a shortage of HGV technicians in the motor transport industry by training its own.

    22-year-old Jessica Blanchard, RHCV’s latest HGV apprentice.

    22-year-old Jessica Blanchard, RHCV’s latest HGV apprentice.

    This shortage has been growing over the past few years as more and more qualified technicians reach retirement age and there are not enough new professionals to take their place.

    Recruited alongside three other apprentices during one of its recent intakes was 22-year-old Jessica Blanchard from Nottingham, who having been with the business less than six months is already being recognised as a top talent.

    The company’s first female HGV technician, Jessica comments on her experience so far: “I’ve had a few jobs since finishing school but there was never really anything that I could get into or build a career in. I have always had an interest in cars and engines and so when I saw this role with RH Commercial Vehicles, and knowing their reputation as a business, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity!”

    RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV) is one of the largest commercial vehicle dealerships in the East Midlands and has a reputation for training and retaining some of the best transport industry talent in the region.

    Stephen Astill, Jessica’s manager, comments on her progress: “Jessica comes to work with the right attitude and an enthusiasm to learn. She is our first female technician and is a role model for the mindset and behaviour we value at RHCV. She is only in the first year in her apprenticeship but I have faith she will go far.”

    RHCV is known for investing in young, local talent, recruiting new apprentices each year. James Daykin from Derbyshire joined RHCV aged 17 as a parts trainee, he is now Dealer Point Manager for the company’s Leicester branch.

    Nigel Baxter Managing Director at RHCV, comments: “Jessica is the sort of young person we like to encourage in our business, hard-working and enthusiastic, she sets a great example to others in our apprenticeship scheme, and we would welcome more young people like her. We certainly value the level of skill and expertise we have within our business and we complement this with a focused programme of training for our staff and apprentices in partnership with Renault Trucks.”

    RHCV employs a team of 80 including 16 apprentices and is currently recruiting for experienced HGV technicians to join its teams, complementing the wealth of talent across its three sites: Nottingham, Cossington (near Leicester) and Alfreton.

  2. Addressing the Shortage From Within

    RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV), one of the largest commercial vehicle dealers in the East Midlands is futureproofing its workforce by cultivating the next generation of talent in-house.

    The business now employs 11 HGV Technician Apprentices (Heavy Goods Vehicles) across its three sites on Lenton Lane in Nottingham, Cossington (near Leicester) and Alfreton.

    RHCV MD Nigel Baxter with the HGV Technician Apprentices

    RHCV MD Nigel Baxter with the HGV Technician Apprentices

    All 11 apprentices are at various stages of their training with some of them in their second and third years of the HGV technician apprenticeship. RHCV has a proven track record for nurturing award winning apprentices. The trainees are surrounded by great talent at the Renault Trucks distributor.

    This is the largest ever group of apprentices at RHCV, who employ a staff of 70 across its three sites. The new apprentices, most of whom are still just 16, joined RHCV straight out of education and split their study between onsite training at RHCV and Stephenson College in Coalville, which was recently chosen by Renault Trucks UK to deliver its national apprentice programme.

    Third year technician apprentice Gage Sludds (18) from Pinxton, joined the vehicle distributor straight out of school following in the footsteps of his grandad who also used to work with trucks. He comments: “RHCV is a great place to learn and work. Staff are always willing to help and encourage you, which really builds up confidence in what you’re learning. I have been provided with opportunities to develop new skills and I feel like a valued member of company.”

    RHCV is also currently recruiting for experienced HGV technicians to join its teams, complementing the wealth of apprentice talent across its three sites.

    Nigel Baxter Managing Director at RHCV, comments: “We have seen a growth in the market with local vehicle operators who need a local workshop reducing downtime for their vehicles. It has prompted sustained growth within the company including, more recently, a £400,000 investment in our Alfreton site to increase workshop space and add an ATF (authorised testing facility) for heavy and light commercials to meet the growing demand.

    “Training and apprenticeship programmes add real value to our staff and our company. They allow us to continue to compete in an ever evolving and developing marketplace. We not only value our existing staff by up skilling them, but our new generation of recruits are equally as important to us faced with an aging workforce in the transport sector.”

  3. Renault Trucks UK Expands Apprentice Scheme For 2016

    Renault Trucks UK is to create an additional 30 apprenticeships next year as part of its 2016 Apprentice Programme expansion plans. The decision to increase the number of apprentices on the scheme follows a rise in applications to Renault Trucks from young people wishing to embark on a career in the commercial vehicle industry.

    Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks’ UK Commercial Director comments: “An apprenticeship is a great way for young people to start their career and we are delighted to be able to support an additional 30 recruits keen to take this route, which will bring the total number of Apprentices in the programme to 97. The Renault Trucks structured apprentice programme gives young people an opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications, earning while they learn.”

    He adds, “Of course, for the Renault Trucks dealer network, employing apprentices is a productive and effective way to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Many of today’s graduates will go on to senior management positions, whether in technical service, parts management or vehicles sales.”

    The announcement follows the Renault Trucks UK Apprentice Awards 2014 & 2015, held at Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, Warks recently, which marked the achievements of apprentices graduating in both years. Attended by the apprentices’ families and friends, the awards ceremony included presentations by Adam Plastow, Commercial Academy & Apprenticeship Manager and Ian Wrench, Dealer Development Director of Renault Trucks, as well as Arne Knaben, Managing Director of Volvo Group UK and Simon Kibble from Stephenson College in Coalville, Leics who host the Apprenticeship scheme.

    Winner of the Apprentice of the Year Award for 2014 was Alex Morrison of Thompson Commercials Hull; winner of the 2015 title was Mark Edwards of SP Holdings of Telford.

    “The quality of the Renault Trucks Apprentice Programme ensures that it attracts the highest calibre of talented individuals, with an enthusiam and passion for the industry,” says Arne Knaben, Managing Director of Volvo Group UK. “The Renault Trucks product combines high tech with strength, durability and reliability, values that we see reflected in our graduates, who are trained to work at the highest level to deliver service excellence for our customers. We are pleased to welcome an additional 30 ambitious young people to our scheme for 2016.”

    Renault Trucks, in partnership with Stephenson College, delivers Government-funded apprenticeship programmes for the Renault Trucks UK Network. There are six key programmes comprising heavy vehicle technician, heavy vehicle trailer technician, parts consultant, business administration, service advisor and light/heavy commercial vehicle sales. All apprentices are directly employed within the Renault Trucks dealer network in workshops across the UK and attend block release sessions at the College.

  4. Approval for HGV Driver Trailblazer Apprenticeship

    “Our hard work has paid off” says RHA

    The Road Haulage Association (RHA) (@RHANews) has welcomed the approval from the Business and Innovation Department (BIS) (@bisgovuk) for an LGV apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme but is pressing for confirmation that the scheme will cover the cost of licence acquisition.

    RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (@RHARichardB) said: “The approval of the LGV apprenticeship scheme is good news and a victory for our campaigning and lobbying work.  However, it is essential that the apprenticeship includes the costs of licence acquisition. After all, licence acquisition lies at the very core of training new lorry drivers. An LGV apprenticeship that doesn’t cover the cost of the licence is like having a truck without an engine. At this stage, it’s just not clear if licence acquisition is covered by the scheme so we’ll be pressing this issue with ministers in the coming days.

    “The approval of an LGV apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme is certainly a step in the right direction, but we need bold strides if we are to tackle the driver shortage.”

    While the RHA welcomes this new scheme, it will continue in its lobbying efforts for government to make £150m available, to be paid direct to hauliers so that they can fund the training for the new drivers that the industry so desperately needs.

  5. Apprentice Success at RHCV

    With an increase of more than 111 per cent in people stating apprenticeships in the East Midlands*, one company with a truck load of apprentice success stories is Cotes Park based RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV).

    The company, which sells, services and provides parts for heavy and light commercial vehicles across the East Midlands, currently employs 70 staff and eight apprentices, across three sites in Alfreton, Nottingham, and Cossington (Leics), regularly has a large intake of apprentice candidates.

    In photo from left: Jake master technician and Gage who is an apprentice technician.

    RHCV’s apprentices, on numerous occasions, have gone on to senior management positions, whether as technical roles, parts management or vehicles sales.

    A perfect example is local lad Gage Sludds (18) from Pinxton, who is currently in his second year training as an apprentice HGV technician. He joined the vehicle distributor straight out of school following in the footsteps of his grandad who also used to work with trucks.

    Gage said: “RHCV is a great place to learn and work. Staff are always willing to help and encourage you, which really builds up confidence in what you’re learning. I have been provided with opportunities to develop new skills and I feel like a valued member of company.”

    Gage’s training is in the safe hands of master technician, Jake Briggs (31), who began his career as an apprentice15 years ago, and qualified as a master technician four years ago. He now has a dual role working as a workshop controller as well as nurturing talent teaching the next generation of staff for the business.

    Jake from Hucknall, Nottingham, said the apprenticeship has changed since he started as a trainee. He commented: “I think more people should be doing apprenticeships, in my opinion it’s the best way to learn mechanical skills, as it’s a very hands-on trade! I am very proud to be able to teach others to become technicians and I’m happy to pass my knowledge on to future generations.”

    RHCV commercial director, Paul Pearson, said: “Apprentices are very important to our company as it secures our place in the market in the future. Our programme allows us to shape the type of staff we need and provides our trainees with great prospects in our business.”

  6. Reaping the Rewards of Investment

    RHCV is reaping the rewards of investing in young local talent. Two young members of staff have now joined the team having recently completing their apprenticeships.

    Jake Curtis (22) from Loughborough and Thomas Judd (18) from Queniborough are both “valued members of the RHCV team,” according to their boss Steve Astill, Dealer Point Manager.

    Steve comments: “RH Commercial Vehicles is committed to developing staff through apprenticeships and training programmes; they add real value to our company and give us the ground to build the business.”

    Parts Advisor Thomas joined RHCV as on a parts apprenticeship at 16 straight from his studies at Wreake Valley Academy. While Technician Jake, who recently completed his third year technician apprenticeship, joined RHCV at 17 following his studies at Stephenson College in Coalville, which was recently chosen by Renault Trucks UK Ltd to deliver its national apprentice programme.

    Jake comments: “Coming into the business as an apprentice, you quickly learn your place as part of the team. RHCV provides a nurturing environment where you can really learn your skills but in a friendly working environment.”

    RHCV has been based at its purpose built 8,000 sq ft Charnwood Edge site for almost five years, and employs 11 staff. The company, which is regularly recognised, at the annual Renault Trucks Apprentice Awards, really value young talent.

    The automotive industry is struggling to attract young trainees to the sector. With its aging workforce, it’s an issue that the industry really needs to address. RHCV appreciate the value of apprenticeships. By training apprentices they are investing in the future of their staff as well as their business.

    The Renault Trucks Apprenticeship training promotes a genuine alternative to short term contract workers, and provides the opportunity to take on and shape the type of staff the business really needs. On numerous occasions RHCV’s apprentices have gone on to senior management positions, whether as technical roles, parts management or vehicles sales.

    Jake and Thomas

    Jake and Thomas

  7. Renault’s Apprentice of the Year!

    One of RHCV’s apprentices from Nottingham has had their achievements recognised after winning Renault’s Apprentice of the Year competition.

    Matt Long, 22 from Kirklington, came first in his year group (Year 3) after being selected to win from applicants from across the 57 dealers across the UK
    Last year, Matt was runner up in ‘Year 2’, he comments, “After losing out on first place last year it’s great to be bringing the winner’s trophy home to Nottingham.

    “RHCV is a great place to work and is great at nurturing us younger members of the team who quickly feel a valued part of the business.”

    Matt split his study between onsite training in Nottingham and the Renault Headquarters in Dunstable, but is now coming to the end of his apprenticeship and looks forward to a full-time roll within the company.

    Eddie Ruddy, RHCV’s Aftermarket Manager, commented on the award win, “Matt is a testament to the success of apprenticeships at RHCV, where every year we come away with either a runner up or winner in at least one category.”

    Nigel Baxter, Managing Director at RHCV, comments, “Training and training programmes add real value to our staff and our company, as it allows us to continue to compete in an ever evolving and developing marketplace. We not only value our existing staff by up skilling them, but our new generation of recruits are equally as important to us.

    “Having as many apprentices as we do reflects the nature of the industry in which we work, and we provide a more ‘hands on’ approach to learning. We hope with the right attitude and commitment from our recruits we can go on to win Renault’s Apprentice of the Year for many years to come.”

    Matt Long (front right) with the other category winners of Renault Trucks Apprentice of the Year competition

  8. Nurturing Award Winning Apprentices at RHCV

    Two of RHCV’s apprentices from Nottingham have had their achievements recognised after being awarded runners up for Renault’s Apprentice of the Year competition.

    Edward Rollinson was runner up in his year Group (Year 3) and Matt Long was runner up in his year group (Year 2), selected from applicants from across the 57 dealers across the UK. Both Edward and Matt were also rewarded for their efforts with a £150 bonus.

    Edward, from Kirkby in Ashfield, has recently graduated from his apprenticeship after completing the three years of training, and is now working at the RHCV site in Nottingham.

    Jim McNeil, Workshop Manager, commented on the award win, “Both of the guys are a testament to the success of apprenticeships at RHCV, where every year we come away with either a runner up or winner in at least one category.”

    Edward, alongside Matt, who is from Kirklington, split their study between onsite training in Nottingham and the Renault Headquarters in Dunstable

    RHCV now employ four apprentices, two in Nottingham and two in Leicester, and they are looking forward to next year’s competition.

  9. THE train to catch!

    As trucks and vans and cars become more technologically advanced, we mere mortals are working hard to keep up, which is why staff training is so important.

    January saw a wealth of knowledge flow into the RH Commercial Vehicles (RHCV) workshop with workshop technician Paul Higginbottom updating his skills in HV Transmissions, LCV Engine Technology and Fuel Systems; while Nick Tubby, a fellow workshop technician, took a two day course to increase his Electronics knowledge.

    As the place to get Renault commercial vehicles in the East Midlands with territories extending across Nottingham, Leicester and Derby, it is important that any training reflects developments from Renault. RHCV invest both time and money in its staff and their training by sending them on courses at Renault Headquarters in Dunstable.

    Stephen Astill, Dealer Point Manager at RHCV comments, “Training and training programmes add real value to our staff and our company, as it allows us to continue to compete in an ever evolving and developing marketplace. We not only value our existing staff by up skilling them, but our new generation of recruits are equally as important to us.”

    The RHCV Leicester site now has two apprentices, with 17 year old Luke West of Anstey Heights, Leicester joining the team. He is in good company with fellow apprentice Jake Curtis who is now in his second year of being a workshop apprentice.

    “I would like to welcome Luke to the team, and I look forward to working together with him to advance the parts department to the next level,” comments Stephen, “Luke’s joining the team means our Leicester branch has now grown to a healthy eight strong.”

    Luke is a young man from the local community; he joins RHCV straight from education. Luke will train on the Parts Apprenticeship course, RHCV’s first recruit on the government training plan. Luke now has the great opportunity to learn and be involved in a vibrant and collective unit, and he is sure to progress and evolve his trade through RH Commercial Vehicles.