Commercial Motor Awards 2018 shortlist: Apprentice of the Year

Commercial Motor Awards 2018

The Apprentice of the Year Award is a popular category and goes to an individual who has made a significant contribution to their workplace, as well as a business that has expanded and supported young talent. The winner will be announced on 15 November at The Vox, Birmingham. Go to commercial to see the shortlists for all categories, and to book tickets. Join the conversation about the Commercial Motor Awards by tweeting #2018CMA

Sonny Meijer, HGV technician apprentice, Ford & Slater, Kings Lynn
Sonny Meijer enrolled on the DAF Apprentice Programme at Ford & Slater Kings Lynn in 2015, with the hope of becoming a qualified HGV technician. Over the past three years Meijer said he has learnt a range of skills including how to service, maintain, diagnose and repair a variety of DAF Trucks - ranking him in the top 10% of his year group. He is the chairman of the apprentice panel at Ford & Slater, and the dealership said he had had a huge influence on the way it markets its apprenticeship schemes.

Christian Chirwa, supervisor, MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton
Christian Chirwa won the MAN Truck & Bus UK Apprentice of the Year Award in the third year of his apprenticeship in 2017. Since then he has been promoted to supervisor at MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton. He now looks after a team of technicians who are responsible for on-site maintenance at a customer premises working to keep vehicle off road to a minimum for the customer and the work in progress low for the branch. Assessors at S&B Training described him as an excellent communicator.

Kate Carter, truck sales executive, Roanza Truck and Van
Having initially qualified as a beautician Kate Carter recently graduated from the Roanza Mercedes-Benz sales apprenticeship. Carter is on target to achieve truck sales registrations inline with those of a seasoned sales executive at Roanza. Through listening, learning and optimisation all of the new technologies available in the industry, the Mercedes dealership said Carter is going to be a true ambassador and strong role model for women in the truck industry.

Thomas Belcher, apprentice, Rygor Swindon
Thomas Belcher is a second-year apprentice at Rygor’s Swindon branch. In his entry the Mercedes-Benz dealership described Belcher as possessing an “exceptional work ethic and a mature insight”. Belcher said of his apprenticeship: “From a young age I knew I wanted to work with vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz brand appealed to me and after doing some research, I could see that there were so many opportunities in commercial vehicle apprenticeships. Rygor Swindon is great - I wake up and I am happy to go to work in the morning.”

. Join the conversation about the 2018 Commercial Motor Awards and tweet us at #2018CMA


RHA urges operators to ensure Driver CPC training is completed in good time, as the deadline nears


The RHA has warned companies not to leave Driver CPC training to the last minute, with a year remaining of the current cycle.

HGV drivers are legally required to complete 35 hours of training over a five-year period to remain legally compliant.

Although all new HGV drivers have taken the Driver CPC as part of their licence acquisition since 10 September 2009, existing drivers had until 9 September 2014 under acquired rights to complete their periodic training.

The deadline for the next five-year period is now less than a year away, and those that don’t complete the required training by 10 September 2019 will forfeit their Driver Qualification Card (DQC) and the right to drive for a living.

DVSA can also issue a fine of up to £1,000 for anyone driving professionally without a DQC.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett, said: “If you leave it to the last few months you might struggle to find suitable courses or enough spaces to book for your drivers.

“I’d urge hauliers to arrange driver training days now. Having drivers who can’t drive is disastrous for an operator.”

The DfT has already said that regardless of Brexit and the UK’s final deal, it intends to retain the Driver CPC regime.

You can check how many hours you have clocked as a driver via the DVSA’s online record on its dedicated Driver CPC page, and the agency also lists available Driver CPC courses there.