Preparing for a green future: giving the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector the credentials it deserves
Steve Scofield, Head of Business Development at the Institute of the Motor Industry outlines the steps being taken to develop National Occupational Standards for Vehicle Recycling.
With environmental sustainability now front of mind for all parts of society, there is a huge opportunity for those working in the End-of-Life-Vehicle market to go a step further, to demonstrate the high standards applied through all parts of their operations and the role the sector can play in the government’s Decarbonisation plan. Supporting that vision, the Institute of the Motor Industry, which is the professional body for the automotive sector, is developing National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Vehicle Recycling, specifically focusing on the Vehicle Dismantler role. This includes depollution of the vehicle and the grading of the ‘green’ parts to be re-used.
Crucially we are shaping these standards in close collaboration with key stakeholders in the sector, including the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) and the British Vehicle Salvage Federation (BVSF). And, recognising the workload pressures for those working in the sector, the standards are being designed to be easy to train for and adopt in bite-sized modules.
What are National Occupational Standards?
The Institute of the Motor Industry is responsible for setting the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for all sectors of the automotive industry. There are already over 20 NOS in existence for those working in automotive, providing a global benchmark for quality and professionalism. Adding Vehicle Recycling to the list is an important step in building the professional image of the industry, which will help to grow sales, reduce errors and accidents and increase profits.
NOS are used to help develop qualifications used in apprenticeship frameworks in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well as the IMI accreditation scheme for staff across the UK. The standards describe what an individual in a certain role should be able to do and the knowledge and understanding they need. Employers can use them to help design their in-house training, on-the-job coaching or performance management systems. And they provide an important benchmark for employers when it comes to recruitment.
A collaborative process
To ensure that the new NOS for Vehicle Recycling are fit for purpose, the IMI is working closely with employers, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders to feed into the project. We’ve already held a number of Working Groups, with members of the sector invited to provide their expertise. With that input we have now drafted the NOS in three key areas – Vehicle Removal, Vehicle Dismantling and Green Parts Grading - for sector feedback and we are keen to ensure that we get the widest possible input so that the NOS is fit for purpose for the current and future shape of automotive recycling.
Crucially, the NOS grading that we are creating for the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector is based on the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) standard which is already well established, and well respected in the automotive market as a whole. Aligning to this existing standard makes complete sense because it’s what the sector already knows.
Preparing for a changing world
The rapid acceleration of electric motoring is particularly important for the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector. Those working on the dismantling of these high voltage vehicles need to understand the very specific risks. The advances in connected and autonomous motoring will also present the sector with new challenges. And, as the spotlight only gets brighter on how all parts of automotive can positively contribute to creating a greener and more sustainable environment, attention will increase significantly on the role of ‘green parts’. The insurance industry is already working hard to adopt ‘green parts’ in its claims processes so it’s vital that the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector can meet the exacting standards expected.
An industry to be proud of
Certification for vehicle dismantlers, under the new NOS, will therefore provide a real opportunity to show pride in the industry, while at the same time increasing the credibility of the sector. Plus, of course, if those professionals working in the sector have clear standards to operate within, the health and safety record as a whole will be improved.
Currently the job functions being looked at as part of the NOS include:
• Collect and store vehicle
• Receive and assess vehicle
• Depollute vehicle
• Dismantle vehicle
• Grade parts
• Manage inventory of parts
Throughout the development of the standards, we have aimed to build on existing, proven NOS for other parts of automotive. This includes vehicle collection – based on existing Roadside Recovery NOS – and managing ‘green’ parts inventory – based on Parts Operations NOS. Existing Electric Vehicle NOS are also being used for the Vehicle Recycling sector, to include the dangers of towing an EV, making a vehicle safe and safe storage of high voltage batteries.
Global vehicle remarketing and recycling company Copart Inc. is creating a new 68-acre UK ‘Super Centre’ in East Anglia, as part of a major expansion programme to meet continued and growing customer demand.
Copart is the largest business within its sector, with the UK division moving more than half a million vehicles a year and handling $1b worth of vehicle assets.
The new Copart Operation Centre on the A143 at Stanton, north of Bury St Edmunds, will now be the largest vehicle storage and processing centre in the UK. There are currently 16 other nationwide sites in strategic locations across the UK.
Today’s news follows a series of similar growth announcements from Copart last year, including a major new customer service centre in Bedford, the quadrupling in size of their Bristol Operation Centre, significant expansion of their owned transport fleet, and the doubling of their operational capabilities in Scotland with a new Operation Centre near Glasgow.
Bury St Edmunds has been identified by Copart as an ideal location to meet rising demand in the East of England, mirroring large capacity sites in the South East, South West, and North East, and others planned for the Midlands and the North West.
With an increasing number of severe weather events and an ever-changing car parc due to the rise of electric vehicles, this centre will provide further essential latent storage capacity in the region, adding to Copart’s existing network of Super Centres in the UK.
Copart’s UK and Ireland Managing Director, Jane Pocock, said:
“Demand from our customers continues to rise and it’s fantastic that we invest to future-proof our business, considering the evolving car parc and the increase in extreme weather events. This site enhances our network of Super Centres and improves storage capacity for anticipated growth in recycling, electric, and hydrogen vehicles, as well as helping to accelerate the diversification of our business into green parts handling.
“This investment marks another significant step forward for our UK business and illustrates our ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry and continuing to provide market leading services to all our customers.”
“From an environmental point of view, Copart are committed to ensuring sustainability across all Operation Centres so we will be deploying sustainable building methods and materials with large parts of the building construction undertaken off site and at specialist factories where there is greater control of the process and much less waste.”
In line with Copart’s sustainability strategy ‘Copart Cares’, existing areas of established mature trees and woodland will be retained and will be further strengthened by the planting of native species across 17-acres of the 68-acre site.
The company also plans to support growth in wildlife, and minimise environmental impact on commuting bats, through the use of bat-boxes and dark sky lighting.
Following a detailed ecology survey that assessed the current biodiversity, it is expected that the development will increase the ecological value of the site by more than 10% above the current level.
The Bury St Edmunds site is expected to be operational by the end of 2022, subject to standard planning, and will provide between 100 and 120 new jobs. Apprenticeships will also be available.
Copart UK is part of the US-based global Copart business and currently employs around 1,100 people in the UK.
For the third consecutive year, global leader in online vehicle remarketing and recycling Copart UK has achieved re-accreditation to the CCA Global Standard©, a globally recognised framework that assesses the reliability and effectiveness of customer service operations.
Achieving the award is particularly meaningful during these unprecedented times, where companies have been operating in a work from home or hybrid model, and clearly demonstrates the commitment of Copart employees in going above and beyond to meet customer needs.
The accreditation, awarded by CCA Global Ltd, identifies talent and capability, assesses ease of access across voice and remote channels, and provides a foundation for building a better customer experience in a digital world.
Copart was assessed against key business principles of the CCA Global Standard© including:
• Customer service performance and operational effectiveness
• Employee focus: recruitment, selection, and retention alongside learning and development strategies
• Legislation, regulation, and policies affecting the operation
• Third party and managed relationships along with implementing and managing relevant and new technologies
To be recognised with the accreditation, Copart had to undergo a rigorous virtual assessment over the course of several days, reviewing all aspects of the business. The assessment ensures the organisation actively follows the guidelines and meets the high standards required on a daily basis.
The company was commended for the planning and organisation involved in preparing for the assessment and there were no non-conformities received.
In a very positive summary at the close of the assessment, Copart’s key strengths were highlighted as being their continuous focus on customer experience, their robust processes, and the confidence and engagement of their employees.
Jane Pocock, Managing Director of Copart UK & Ireland, said:
“We are extremely proud to pass the assessment with flying colours and attain this renowned accreditation for the third year running. As a trusted partner to the insurance industry, it is fantastic to achieve independent validation of our ability to provide customers with world class end-to-end outsourced services.
“CCA Global Standard© accreditation demonstrates the highest standards in delivering excellence when servicing our customers throughout the UK, Ireland and beyond, and we are extremely proud of everyone’s efforts in the business to achieve this.”
Anne-Marie Forsyth, Chief Executive of CCA, added:
“The accreditation is a true reflection of the dedication and drive demonstrated by Copart in delivering consistency, efficiency and continual improvement for customers in today’s challenging times.
“The commitment demonstrated in improving standards and customer experience supports CCA’s overall objective of improving the quality and standard of customer service and experience across all business sectors.”
The UK’s leading integrated salvage, dismantling and recycling company has revealed a £60k investment at its flagship Doncaster site.
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Apprentices from Doncaster have been given the green light to their dream career as they start the UK’s first ever Metal Recycling Operative Apprenticeship with local employer, SYNETIQ.
The apprenticeship programme has been introduced at SYNETIQ, the UK’s leading integrated vehicle salvage, dismantling and recycling business in a bid to create new opportunities for local people as well as fulfilling a surge in demand for people as the firm continues to grow.
This month, the apprentices start their 12-month training taking part in a mixture of on and off-the-job learning and practical training . Practical training includes assisting with vehicle assessments in SYNETIQ’s ‘Landing Pad’ where they will learn to identify salvageable parts for reuse – also known as green parts. In addition, apprentices will experience the depollution process, learn engine prepping techniques and how to safely dismantle vehicles.
Euan Harlington (24) from Doncaster said: “I’ve always had an interest in cars, but I didn’t know how to get into the industry. I saw the opportunity with SYNETIQ and I couldn’t turn it down, this was my chance at a stable career in a valuable trade. The variety of practical and theory learning was a big attraction along with building my bank of transferable skills.”
Apprentices will gain employability skills such as, health and safety awareness, manual handling, plant equipment training, the opportunity to gain an understanding of electric vehicles and environmental practises to support with the company’s sustainability strategy, ‘Our Road to Tomorrow.’
Natalie Buckley. Head of HR at SYNETIQ said: “This is such an exciting time for our new apprentices, and we’re thrilled to welcome them into the SYNETIQ family. The launch of our new scheme comes at an ideal time with latest Government statistics showing a dip in apprenticeships nationally, with start figures down 6.9% in 2020/21 compared to the previous year.
“As our business continues to grow, now is the time to recruit, train and educate our future workforce. We decided to jump-start our own programme in partnership with a pioneering education provider to bring new career and earning opportunities to local people as well as futureproofing ourselves to support our growth plan.
“The very best of luck to our new colleagues, we can’t wait to see where your journey takes you.”
Caption: SYNETIQ apprentices alongside (back row from left to right) Trevor Madden, Operations Manager, Michael Hill Head of Operations, Robert Hampson, Operations Manager and Nick Penton, Operations Manager (front right).
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