Michelin Auto Professional dealers complete new Licensed Retail Tyre Technician course

Stephane Bonnard (left), Training Instructor at Michelin, with Dylan Lewis (right) from Huw Lewis Tyres in Aberystwyth.

Eight technicians representing Michelin Auto Professional dealers across the UK and Ireland have become the first to complete Michelin’s new Licensed Retail Tyre Technician course – with a further eight scheduled to take part in July.

The group of 16 are undertaking the two-day course as part of Michelin’s Tyre Academy 2018 – a series of annual events run by Michelin to help advocate dealers retain the best talent within their dealerships.

Michelin has launched its Licensed Retail Tyre Technician course to support the National Tyre Distributors Association’s (NTDA) Tyre Technician Professional Development Scheme – created in response to retailers calling for a standardised licence for personnel based in retail centres. The new course mirrors the opportunities already available to commercial vehicle and agricultural tyre technicians through the Licence to Fit accreditation programme.

Andy Aylward, Michelin Retail Programme Manager for the UK and Ireland, explained: “The Michelin Auto Professional network includes many of the best performing independent tyre dealers in the country, so we knew there would be strong demand for this year’s Tyre Academy. All 16 places were snapped up quickly, and feedback from the first participants has been incredibly positive.

“Providing access to free staff training sessions and a chance to nominate employees for our Tyre Academy has always been a key part of the Michelin Auto Professional programme. Without doubt, this year’s training package has proven a real highlight and been greatly appreciated by our advocate partners.”

Dylan Lewis from Huw Lewis Tyres in Aberystwyth, one of the first dealers to complete the course, says: “It was very thorough and the perfect starting block for younger members of the workshop team or those new to the sector. It covered everything I’d expected and more.

“I’ve been in the industry a long time, but even I came away having learned some new things too. We use Michelin for a lot of our training and I found this new course a really welcome addition.”

Developed by the Michelin Training and Information Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, the course has been accredited by City & Guilds and is believed to be one of the first of its kind in the industry.

Carl Williams, Michelin Training and Information Centre Manager, says: “For a long time commercial tyre fitters have had a licence to work, but there’s never been anything for car tyre fitters working in retail garages.

“We’ve worked quickly to develop a specific training course to meet the NTDA’s brief, allowing technicians to be assessed as competent professionals with the relevant knowledge for fitting tyres safely and efficiently to cars, 4x4s and light vans.”

The course includes both theory and practical assessments, covering tyre fitting, wheel security, minor repairs, four-wheel alignment, balancing, manual handling, safe working practices and ensuring a detailed knowledge of tyre pressure monitoring systems.

Fitters attending the first course represented A One Tyres, Carryduff Tyre Centre, Crewe Tyre and Exhaust, Downton Tyre and Autocare, Heath Tyre Auto Centre, Milestones Garage, Huw Lewis Tyres and Saracens Tyres.

Next month’s intake will include technicians from Auto Fastfit, Ballinasloe Tyre Centre, Guildford Tyre, Technique Tyres, TyreFinders, Ian Brown Tyres, TC Tyres and a further member of the Huw Lewis Tyres team.

A second Tyre Academy module will take place in early autumn, with attendees drawn from the initial group of 16. Those selected to take part will travel to Michelin’s Dundee factory, which produces 7 million car tyres annually, to learn more about Michelin’s latest product innovations and technology. The top performing technicians from module two will be rewarded with an invitation to the final stage of this year’s Tyre Academy – to test Michelin tyres in a high-performance environment at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone.

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