ERA Convention tackles rentals skills shortage

A panel discussion takes place on day one of the Convention. (Photo: Maurice Vinken / www.kleurstof.eu) A panel discussion takes place on day one of the Convention. (Photo: Maurice Vinken / www.kleurstof.eu)

The European Rental Association Convention returned last week, with the themes of ‘Investing in people’ and the skill and labour shortages in the industry both key topics of discussion.

The event, which took place on the 7 and 8 June, saw over 350 figures attend to discuss how to attract, develop and retain talent to the sector amid a backdrop of challenges facing the industry.

In his opening address, Stéphane Henon, the ERA president and managing director of Loxam Group, said, “The rental industry is, above all, a people industry.

“Without our people, we wouldn’t deliver any services to our customers and we wouldn’t be able to continue to thrive as an industry, as we currently are despite the war in Ukraine, global supply chain disruptions and high inflation.”

Day one of the Convention, which was moderated by Dutch journalist Maarten Bouwhuis, saw Jean-Baptiste Annat of Eurogroup Consulting address the skill and labour shortage issues facing rental companies.

Elsewhere on day one, a panel discussion with representatives from the likes of Boels Rental, Loxam Hune, Zeppelin Rental and Sunbelt Rentals discussed the current status of the workforce in the rental industry.

Ending the first day, plenary sessions were held that covered a range of topics including ‘Careers in Hire’, diversity and inclusion, and the barriers to women in organisations.

On day two, a session on market and finance gave an overview as to the latest market forecast, with ERA’s consultants, S&P Global, upgrading its 2023 rental growth forecasts for all but two of the eight largest rental markets in Europe.

To end the Convention, talent acquisition and recruitment specialist Nicklas Pyrdol discussed how organisations can develop a more inclusive definition of talent and empower ‎HR ‎professionals to be the best possible support for employees and for themselves‎.

European Rental Awards winners

On the evening of the first day of the Convention, seven awards were handed out at the European Rental Awards, which is jointly organised by International Rental News and the European Rental Association.

The Large Rental Company of the Year Award went to Renta Group for its growth despite the challenges it faced 2022, while the Small and Medium Sized Rental Company of the Year was awarded to Key-Tec for carving out a niche renting larger, technically complex machines and offering specialist knowledge and services.

Winners at the 2023 European Rental Awards, including representatives from Renta Group, Key-Tec, Zeppelin Rental, Boels Rental and Hilti. (Photo: IRN) Winners at the 2023 European Rental Awards, including representatives from Renta Group, Key-Tec, Zeppelin Rental, Boels Rental and Hilti. (Photo: IRN)

There was joint winners in the ERA Sustainability Committee Award: Best Initiative in People, with Zeppelin Rental and Boels Rental both coming away with the award.

Boels also won the the ERA/IRN Rental Person of the Year Award with Chief Procurement Officer Guy Cremer recognised by the judges for his role in the switch towards lower carbon emission equipment.

Skyjack won the ERA Technical Committee Award: Best Training Materials Adapted for Rental for its commitment to providing clear training materials for their rental customers.

Hilti came away with the Rental Product of the Year Award for its Nuron range as part of their vision for a completely cordless jobsite.

CGT Edilizia Managing Director Max Rossi rounded off the night with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his successful, knowledgeable and unassuming presence in the rental industry over many years.

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Ollie Hodges Publisher Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: ollie.hodges@khl.com
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