TNB News

More than a day job

13 July 2023 #TNB News

From driving zero emission trucks and riding automated buses, to national coverage of Truck Zone and representing the commercial vehicle sector at parliamentary receptions, my first year anniversary at SMMT has been a moment to reflect on all the success that’s been achieved in such a short period. One of the most enjoyable parts of the job is the chance to meet so many people across the CV sector, at SMMT section meetings, events and site visits, who clearly love what they do and are inspired every day to bring about progress in their business and the wider industry.

Despite all that the sector has to offer, one topic that often comes up in conversation with SMMT members is the challenge of finding new recruits with in-demand skills and qualifications, particularly related to electrification and digitisation. It requires new ways of thinking, and fortunately there is one talent pool that is a consistently valuable asset for automotive businesses: the ex-armed forces community.

As a long-term supporter of further engagement by members in this area, SMMT joined the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in 2021 and, this week, received Gold status – recognising that SMMT is as an exemplary advocate for recruiting and supporting ex-Forces personnel and their families.

The award follows SMMT’s establishment of Mission Automotive, in partnership with the SMMT Charitable Trust, Mission Motorsport and The Royal Foundation, helping veterans to access automotive qualifications, training opportunities and well-paid jobs across the UK – a growing number of which relate to electrification, automation and digitisation.

The skills gap is one of a number of areas in which the CV and car sectors have overlapped, so it’s important that the whole industry comes together to discuss its challenges and the opportunities for shared solutions. SMMT Electrified 2023 will do just that, gathering hundreds of senior level executives, government and national media in Westminster, London on Monday 18 September. Commercial vehicles will be in the limelight with keynote speeches and panel discussions, including representatives from Renault Trucks, Ford, Wrightbus, Stellantis, Element 2 and CharIN.

Limited tickets are still available and SMMT members qualify for a free place. If you’ve not secured your ticket, book now!

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