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Posted: Fri, 08/09/2017 - 16:32

A recent article coming from CV library shared some statistics on the vacancies and applicants they are receiving, this prompted us to have a look at how we compare. As we all know CV library are operating on a national level so we wanted to give people another perspective on these stats, here’s what we found.

We can agree with CV Library that vacancies have gone up although in the North East they are not as high at 7.2% using a YTD figure at the end of August 2017. Clearly there is an increased need for staff and while the North East dealers feel their situation is difficult there must be parts of the UK doing a lot worse.

Ingenia’s figures concerning applicants show a massive variance to those of CV Library. Whilst we don’t know what time frame CV Library used to collect their figures our YTD applicants to the end of August increased by a massive 61.3%. Closer inspection of these applicants however revealed that 80.4% were totally unsuitable for the vacancies they were applying for. Why is this figure so high? 

Clearly some applicants will just be desperate for work and just use a scattergun approach by applying for anything and/or not reading the requirements of the vacancy they were applying for. Of course the other scenario is that there are simply not enough suitably qualified candidates in the market and applying for jobs, this second and most likely scenario begs the question. Why? From in depth research carried out by Ingenia Recruitment such skill shortages can be traced back to a lack of apprentice recruitment in the industry for many years. In short the industry has created its own monster and despite the fact we have a solution to this problem, and even when faced with such clear business debilitating issues, they are still unwilling to invest in their businesses future, choosing short term gains instead.

For further information please contact Ingenia Recruitment on 0191 415 5010.

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Posted: Fri, 01/09/2017 - 17:13

The crash repair market needs to dramatically gear up for the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles which will fundamentally change the bodyshop landscape, according to Graham O’Neill, the CEO of ACIS, the market leading distributor to the sector.

The government recently announced the 2040 end of the road deadline for diesel and petrol engines to reduce the health impact of fossil fuel emissions, the catalyst for a demand surge in hybrid and electric vehicles in the next few years.

Graham said, ‘We are now on a game-changing journey which will potentially see a dramatic overhaul of our industry in terms of training need, key-to-key times and ultimately cost. There are inherent safety risks for bodyshop personnel dealing with hybrids and electric vehicles and specialist training such as that provided by the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) will be important for technicians to avoid the threat of electrocution.’

The IMI has spearheaded a campaign to keep motor technicians safe by adopting the correct repair protocols – for example, how to disconnect the batteries and charge them down before commencing a job.

E-cars can contain circuits running at more than three times the 230 volts found in the domestic mains supply, posing a real risk of electrocution and fire unless properly handled, according to the IMI which is pressing for the need to set up a licensing system for electric car mechanics to ensure they are properly trained.

There are about 180,000 car mechanics in the UK, of whom only 40,000 are on the IMI’s professional register. Their figures suggest there are currently around 45,000 electric cars on the roads and only 1,000 people trained to fix them.

Removing batteries, often protected within an integrated ‘armoured’ casing to shield against vibration and impact, takes time and specialist care. On hybrids, switching off the petrol or diesel engine does not necessarily disengage the electric battery which could present dangers for uninitiated bodyshop technicians.

Likewise, battery removal is imperative before the prime and painting process as they would not respond well to the high levels of heat generated from drying booths.

Graham continued, ‘There are already a number of bodyshops able to repair electric and hybrid vehicles, but we are looking at a major volume increase in numbers over the next few years. Bodyshops need to be ready and have the right training in place. All of these factors could add to the time and the cost of repairs, certainly in the short term as volumes increase in line with the UK being weaned off fossil fuelled vehicles.

‘We are looking at a steep learning curve and a dramatic requirement for up-skilling and this has got to start now – we cannot wait until 2040 and hope for the best.’

Posted: Thu, 03/08/2017 - 17:12

Although Pendragon have just announced that they are to raise salaries to attract Technicians to their group, many companies have already raised salaries in order to secure new employees. Skills shortages are now causing serious concern across our industry which is putting Technicians at all but the bottom level 'in the driving seat' when it comes to negotiating for a new job. We are even seeing independent workshops offering basic salaries of £30k to attract the right people. Other mechanical industries who are suffering shortages, are recruiting people from the motor industry and upskilling them. The problem for us is that they are paying much better wages. Lack of investment in apprentices and uncompetetive pay rates was always going to have a serious impact and now seems to be that time.

Posted: Thu, 27/07/2017 - 10:14

The Government's plan to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 is in motion as an attempt to tackle air pollution. Ministers have also unveiled a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions, including the potential for charging zones for the dirtiest vehicles. Local authorities will be given direct financial support from the government, with £40m of the fund being made immediately.

Our Thoughts

The whole ban on petrol and diesel is a classic use of a headline scare, this would have no doubt spread fear through the market impacting residual values. The reality is, this is 23 into the future and if we consider the average person changes their car once every 3 years, that’s just over 7 new cars, in this time we will have gradually been weaned off of petrol and diesel onto hybrids and then make the move over to fully electric cars. So while there is a lot of hype around the topic at the minute, it isn’t a big issue.

Posted: Wed, 19/07/2017 - 17:16

News reports today indicate that Mercedes Benz may now be recalling vehicles in relation to possible vehicle emission issues, could this be similar to the VAG Scandal?

Only 6 months into the year and we continue to hears of vehicle recalls from a range of manufacturers which begs the question, how much could they save if they got quality right first time?

Posted: Tue, 04/07/2017 - 11:14

o celebrate the launch of our new website NEMTA (North East Motor Trade Apprenticeships) we are hosting a huge giveaway for 2 tickets to see The Libertines live in Newcastle on the 3rd of August. 

If you want to be entered into the giveaway you must follow the account and retweet the tweet below if you are picked as a winner and do not follow the account you will not be eligible to win Good Luck Guys :)

https://twitter.com/nemtaUK/status/864513897902088194

 

Posted: Tue, 04/07/2017 - 11:13

To celebrate the launch of our new website NEMTA (North East Motor Trade Apprenticeships) we are hosting a huge giveaway for 2 tickets to see The Libertines live in Newcastle on the 3rd of August. 

If you want to be entered into the giveaway you must follow the account and retweet the tweet below if you are picked as a winner and do not follow the account you will not be eligible to win Good Luck Guys :)

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WIN TICKETS TO THE LIBERTINES IN NEWCASTLE AUG 3rd 2017 FOLLOW + RETWEET TO WIN. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED 31st JULY<a href="https://t.co/ZRNAMM9kwf">https://t.co/ZRNAMM9kwf</a> <a href="https://t.co/kB3dtilfi5">pic.twitter.com/kB3dtilfi5</a></p>&mdash; NEMTA (@nemtaUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/nemtaUK/status/864513897902088194">16 May 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Posted: Thu, 29/06/2017 - 12:13

An article released by Bodyshopmag.com mentions a “Carbon Revolution” coming our way.

   “Deakin University and LeMond Composites have joined forces in a $58m deal which it believes will revolutionise the use of carbon fibre across the world.

The technology, developed by Carbon Nexus PhD student Maxime Maghe and Carbon Nexus general manager Steve Atkiss, has the potential to reduce the energy used in carbon fibre production by 75% and reduce the production process time from around 80 minutes to under 15 minutes.

In addition, the specialised carbon fibre production machinery required is expected to cost around 50% less than current equipment. The smaller equipment footprint makes possible a 70% reduction in the size of a carbon fibre processing plant”.

Read the full article here

We all know that this technology is already a breakthrough and is sure to find its way into road vehicles. If the cost reductions indicated are achieved then carbon fibre may well make its way into mainstream vehicles, a huge advantage when considering its strength to weight ratio.

Posted: Mon, 26/06/2017 - 15:09

A recent article published by Comercial Fleet shows Renaults new Kangoo ZE electric van that can cover a real world range of 125 miles in summer.

"The extended range has been achieved by a new battery mated to a new motor and the incorporation of a heat pump.  Renault says the new Kangoo ZE is also faster to charge than its predecessor, taking as little as six hours to fully charge the battery. A one-hour charge will add 20 miles".

You can read the full article here

Note the caveat "in summer" however as long as the users of these vehicles only need to cover 80 - 100 miles per day then this should offer great overall running costs and be as environmentally friendly as can be.

Posted: Wed, 21/06/2017 - 16:48

Renault UK has teamed up with Reevoo, who are a customer engagement and review platform enabling motorists to leave impartial reviews. All opinions posted will be uncensored and given an overall product score, as rated by the customer. Most manufacturers have their own CSI programmes but as everybody knows they rarely give a true reflection of a customers view regards to the product. Renault’s actions could be seen as a bold and brave move in the light of their past reputation, as usual it will be interesting to see if any other manufacturers follow suit.