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Vans – what will the next generation hold?

The skills shortage has been a key focus for the logistics industry throughout 2021, not only affecting HGV drivers, but also roles such as warehousing operatives and van drivers.

A crucial topic, it was discussed at Logistics UK’s Next Generation Van 2021 event, held in Coventry on Wednesday 09 November. Sponsored by Logistics UK’s Van Gold Partners, AA, Bott Ltd, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease, Quartix, and TVL, it was also attended by additional exhibitor Clarios – VARTA Batteries. 


The session ‘Mitigating skills shortage today: programmes to grow and attract talent’ was highly insightful, discussing how businesses have adapted to recruit new talent, with speakers including Wayfair’s Rajka Vukovic-Hewitt and Bott Ltd’s Stephen Turner. It detailed the importance of ensuring that job roles are clear and detailed so that applicants know exactly what they are applying for, highlighted the benefits of offering open days – that allow applicants to visit the premises, speak with the team and ask questions – as well as mentioning the importance of Personal Development Reviews (PDRs) to understand candidates’ and employees’ long-term goals. It further focused on the candidates’ perception of businesses as more emphasis is placed on companies being both environmentally and socially responsible, with clear importance being placed on mental health awareness as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the need for businesses to give back to the community.  


Vehicle security was also discussed, with TVL’s Laura Moran detailing factors that are expected to influence vehicle crime in the future – including electric vehicle charging systems/elements that could become a target for thieves, the growing demand for home delivery as well as the link between vehicle crime and economic factors. Prevention was also discussed, and in addition to commercial products, included tips such as brining tools inside at night, parking against a wall and marking tools with phone numbers or painting them a special colour to deter would-be thieves.  


Other topics discussed included: the recent changes to the Highway Code in regards to cyclists and pedestrians, the importance of early engagement when discussing upgrades required for your depot’s electric vehicle charging (as this can take up to 12 months); and factors that affect electric vehicle performance, including climate and roof furniture. Speakers included James Ashford from Brigade Electronics, Chris Mangan from Hertz, Andrew Edwards from Quartix, Grahame Neagus from Renault Trucks, Sarah Gray from Rivus Fleet Solutions, Vince Ward from Clarios – VARTA batteries, Steve Halsey from UK Power Networks, David Owen from Royal Mail, James Adcroft from Tesco and Sam Burton from Wayfair. 

Overall, there are many factors for consideration for van operators as we move into the future. And while these may, at times, appear overwhelming, Logistics UK and its Van Gold Partners will continue to work with members to support their needs.  


Published On: 11/11/2021 16:00:41


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