Dragons set the agenda for Make-It Challenge

Students from across the West Midlands will be taking part in this year’s Make-It Challenge during the Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show) at Birmingham’s NEC from 26-28 April.

The daily challenge, jointly run by the CV Show and Manchester’s Manufacturing Institute will see groups of more than thirty 13 and 14 year-old students split into teams of four to take on the roles of managing director, finance director, designer and marketing expert for their ‘own’ vehicle manufacturer.

Their challenge will be to design, build, and market a new commercial vehicle for their ‘own’ company.  Every part of the process; style, space, fuel efficiency, telematics and of course cost will be taken into consideration.

The teams will also be challenged with the job of developing a brand for their company.  When they have completed their task, they will present their ideas to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of industry experts.

This year's CV Show Make-it Challenge Dragons aim to show the students that a career in logistics is varied, exciting and full of opportunity.

Chief Dragon, Ian Jones of solicitors Backhouse Jones, which specialises in transport law, said: "The success of the commercial vehicle industry depends on its ability to evolve.  This is good for the economy, the industry and the environment.

“The Make-It Dragons want to hear ideas from tomorrow's transport operators.  How will hauliers of the future use technology to pool resources and make freight journeys more profitable?  Do they believe in driverless vehicles?  They should as they are already here!

“What we need are the interested young people required to make the technology work for the common good.

“Last year one student described logistics as a posh word for moving things.  Well you don't need to be posh to work in logistics but you do need to think about how to best use technology to harness the industry’s potential."

Fellow Dragons include Rob Flello MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Freight Group, Microlise MD Bob Harbey, Freightlink and She’s RHA founder member Lesley O’Brien, Horsepower Training executive director Jan Carter, Iveco Director for Brand and Communications Nigel Emms, Andy Salter, MD Road Transport Media and the RHA’s Chief Executive Richard Burnett.