During 2006/2007 FIVA decided that Trade and Skills should be included in its policy work and form part of its new Directorate. This decision was based on the belief that such issues would, over time, become more critical to the survival of our historic vehicle movement worldwide. At the September 2007 General Assembly meeting in Copenhagen I was elected as the new Director for Trade and Skills to oversee this new work for FIVA. And more recently, at our 2010 General Assembly in Ljubljana, I was fortunate enough to be re-elected to carry on with this work.
The initial all-embracing strategy introduced in 2009 turned out to be too optimistic and needed to be revised during 2010. At the 2010 General Assembly in Ljubljana we introduced a new, less ambitious, strategy for a limited audience (5 ANFs) based on a simple web-based Questionnaire for Clubs and 1 – 1 consultations with selected professionals. A Pilot project, involving 5 ANFs was started on 1st. January 2011 and continued until 3rd Qtr. 2011. At our General Assemblies in Washington (November 2011) and Munich (2012) I provided feedback on the lessons learnt from the various projects and outlined the way ahead for 2013.
FIVA wishes to progress this work further to increase our knowledge and understanding of National problems and successes in the Trade and Skills arenas. Initially we want to encourage the identification of endangered skills and to what extent they are endangered. Further work will then be required to establish the best ways of preserving these skills for future generations of historic vehicle enthusiasts. In addition FIVA wishes to understand better any specialisms that ANF members need and that National traders and professionals need to provide to meet our restoration requirements. Future work, for political and socioeconomic purposes, will need to focus on the contributions each ANF’s trade professionals and historic vehicle movements make to National prosperity and employment.
The 2012 project, using the web-site based Questionnaire approach, was reasonably successful and proved that the concept would work as long as individual Club members of ANFs would respond. So in 2013 this methodology has been continued for 14 ANFs and gave us more responses from which to draw conclusions.
In addition a similar approach made to national Professional and Trade service providers to establish their views. This work was undertaken via a series of 1-1 interviews by a project manager appointed by each ANF using an on-line Questionnaire.
The knowledge gained has been outlined during our General Assembly in Croatia. However, we believe it will be essential for all ANFs who want to be involved, to find ways to access directly individual members of their Clubs via electronic means to generate a significant number of responses to future web-based Questionnaire.
In 2015, during the General Assembly in Krakow, it was decided to add ‘Youth’ to scope of the commission. At first glance maybe an odd combination but since the youth can also be offered an opportunity in learning trades and skill and, by doing so, can create a unique career. Therefor group works together with professionals, both within the FIVA Colleges and non-affiliated companies, to find opportunities for schooling and passing on the valuable experience of the older generation. Educational institutes are another target to combine ‘youth’ and ‘trade & skills’.
Apart from the above, the group also introduces the younger generation to the joys of Historic Vehicle ownership since this this encompasses much more than just driving in or on and old vehicle. Ownership broadens the view on technical and commercial aspects, creates a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances and can bring loads of fun to others that appreciate Youngtimers and historic vehicles.