Make the most of the reborn CV Show 05 April 2012

It's showtime! The Commercial Vehicle Show is well and truly back in business this month at the NEC (24–26 April), with three complete halls now maxed out, and further displays of vehicles and equipment outside.

For the IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers), this is a sweet moment. It's a tribute to its dogged determination, and that of the other two CV Show partners – SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) and RHA (Road Haulage Association) – to rebuild the greatest and most comprehensive commercial vehicle show in the UK, following its cancellation back in 2009 and rebirth in 2010 as the CV Operator Show.

As Nick Jones, chief executive of the SOE (Society of Operations Engineers, the umbrella organisation for IRTE), puts it: "Transport engineers and technicians need a major annual UK event, such as this. The CV Show 2012 will be a place not only to catch up with new technologies, products and service providers – important though all that is. It will also be this year's brightest and best opportunity for transport professionals to network and to remind themselves of their changing skills requirements, as the industry strives to meet emerging efficiency and sustainability challenges."

On the subject of training, Jones congratulates the industry on the value it places in continuously up-skilling the workforce, noting that 64% of UK transport companies invest in training. "Several exhibitors at the show say they will be focusing on skills and training," he comments, "so there will be great opportunities for visitors to confirm their own requirements."

He also points to the annual irtec Awards, which will be presented on the first day of the CV Show, on the IRTE stand (Hall 2, close to the entrance). Jointly run by IRTE and IMI Awards, irtec is seeing a major resurgence, he observes, as the premier independent scheme assessing the competence of commercial vehicle, trailer and passenger carrying vehicle technicians.

"I credit the competence and professionalism of licence-holders nationwide with the scheme's success. irtec has gone from strength to strength, and we will be celebrating and recognising the highest scoring irtec licensed technicians in the country," states Jones. "But in addition to presenting the awards, our team will be on hand to help technicians and employers find out how irtec could also be benefitting them – as it already has some of the industry's leading names."

That team will also be available, he says, to explain the new joint IRTE, FTA (Freight Transport Association) and IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) career path for premium technicians and fleet engineers having higher skill requirements for maintaining more advanced vehicles. Additionally, IRTE people will be ready to discuss the long awaited national IRTE workshop accreditation scheme, due to be launched at the CV Show. Details of that are being kept under wraps until the show opens, but Jones insists the scheme is due to go live very soon.

Best to heed the IRTE's invitation. "Come in and see us," urges Jones. "We're ready to answer questions about the industry, IRTE membership and registration with the Engineering Council for technicians. Go to the CV Show website [], register online and find out how to make the best of what promises to be a flagship event."

Brian Tinham BSc CEng MInstMC FSOE FIRTE

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