Apollo opens first driver training centre
Apollo Tyres has opened its first formal training centre for heavy and light commercial vehicle drivers. The centre is located in Ujjain city, a location within India the tyre maker describes as a busy transportation hub, and is being run in partnership with the non-profit organisation B-ABLE. Apollo says the centre will focus on two key areas: educating those wishing to make a career in the segment on all aspects of road and vehicle safety and maintenance, and promoting a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Apollo said it opened the centre, and intends to open others, as it identified a growing need to ensure young people are employable and develop job-related skills. The centre also aims to close the gap between the number of commercial vehicles on India’s roads and the number of capable drivers available to operate them. The centre strongly focuses on health and safety as India has the second highest commercial vehicle accident rate in the world, an unenviable statistic stemming from a tendency for drivers spending long hours on the road.
The centre in Ujjain will train 200 drivers every year. To qualify for a certificate, each individual will have to undergo a 45-day training module, which includes complete driving and road management, safe driving, fuel conservation, repairs and maintenance, tyre care and life, troubleshooting and first aid. Individuals will also have to complete a minimum of 20 hours of practical on-road driving under varying conditions with an instructor.
Inaugurating the Centre, Rajesh Dahiya, group head of Sales and Marketing at Apollo Tyres, said: “Our aim in setting up these centres is two-pronged. First to generate employment and increase road safety. And second, to create a new crop of commercial vehicle drivers who are aware and know how to take care of their own health and that of their vehicles. Initiatives like this will go a long way in promoting profitability in the commercial vehicle sector, given that there is a dearth of trained drivers and fuel and tyres are the two biggest costs the sector is faced with.”
Sushil Ramola, CEO and managing director of B-ABLE, added: “The association with Apollo Tyres adds greater value to what we are already doing at B-ABLE in providing sustainable and market-led skill development programmes. Being a leader in the Indian commercial vehicle segment, they have a high exposure and knowledge of the segment, behaviour of people and their needs. They also bring in valuable expertise on tyre care and maintenance.”