Trailblazer tyre technician training gets underway
Lodge Tyre technicians the first to benefit from accredited NTDA/Remit course
Ask anyone involved in tyre industry training and they will say two things. Firstly, there is a growing need to develop a sustainable career path in the technical end of the tyre business. And secondly, that structured training needs to move with the times. The good news is that, after months and years of hard work by key industry figures, there is now an appropriate answer to both questions. So, with this in mind, in mid-November Tyres & Accessories visited the first cohort of trailblazer Licence Commercial Tyre Technician (LCCT) training, which incorporates an accredited apprenticeship standard and the NTDA’s REACT licence.
But first some background. During October’s NTDA Tyre Industry Conference, Continental Tyre Group general manager for technical services, Steve Howat, gave a presentation on the importance of training. Quoting automotive industry pioneer Henry Ford, he said: “The only thing worse that training someone and having them leaves is…not training them and having them stay”! His talk, entitled “Innovation in training and development”, was about solving the skills shortage in the tyre industry by demonstrating there can be a structured career path.
How appropriate it was then just a month or so later, during the week commencing 18 November 2019, that eight lodge tyre technicians began their first block of LCCT training at the Lodge Tyre facility in Nottingham.
The course Tyres & Accessories visited was developed by Remit training and specifically managed by Remit project manager Dave Walker. Walker brings with him experience of light and heavy commercial vehicle repair that developed into technical training roles at Jaguar Land Rover and Ford, before he became programme manager at Scania. Now he project-manages all new up-and-coming projects across automotive in general.
Since the trailblazer standard tyre technician standard was established in 2018, and considering that such standards need to be enacted in or run the risk of falling by the wayside, the NTDA asked Remit to run the course earlier in 2019 as a way of moving things forward.
November marks the first time a group of trailblazers have received the training, which covers health and safety, light commercial, heavy commercial, plant, industrial and agricultural tyre fitting elements. The training is delivered over 15 months and includes five one-week intensives as well as continual on-the-job training via work-based mentoring. In addition, mentoring support material has been developed in order to avoid the very real problem of technicians being taught hand-me-down skills from that sometimes even contradict each other.
Eight lodge tyre technicians became the first students to receive the first block of training at Lodge Tyres’ Nottingham facility. Training was delivered by well-respected industry expert Phil Thirsk and Dave Walker. Half a dozen further Lodge candidates as well as six more from Protyre are already booked onto the course.