Halfords has embarked on a recruitment drive for its autocentres business to meet rapidly increasing demand for vehicle servicing, MOTs, maintenance and repairs. That means Halfords is creating 1000 new automotive technician roles over the next 12 months and is prioritising attracting retirees back into the workforce as well as challenging itself to increase the number of women in automotive technician roles. The recruitment drive, which will also target disadvantaged young people, is being backed by £3.5 million of technician training and recruitment investment over next 12 months.
EV Ready has unveiled its line-up of electric vehicle industry experts ahead of a trade show evening on January 25, 2023 at Brighton Racecourse. Alongside an exhibition of the very latest EV-related equipment, tools, training and parts available to independent garages from the UK aftermarket’s biggest brands, an EV Ready discussion panel will weigh-up what the UK’s growing EV car parc means for vehicle servicing and repairs, the business opportunities available and how best for workshops to transition into the new and emerging electrified era.
GS Yuasa has launched its award-winning online battery training platform GS Yuasa Academy across Europe. The system, which the company says is the original and only dedicated battery training hub, now features content in German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish and is available online on the company’s dedicated website.
The freedom to service new vehicles was joined by another example of the sector’s current need to evolve quickly at the NTDA Tyre Industry Conference 2022. Dave Walker, business development director, Autotech discussed the topic of training technicians to carry out services on electric and hybrid vehicles. Noting the speed of the new car market’s move away from diesel (only around 5.5 per cent of new cars sold this year are diesel), and the growth of various flavours of electric car, Walker said that “only 15 per cent of UK technicians (around 32,900) are now qualified to work safely” on these vehicles. It is estimated that 90,000 technicians will be required by 2030 to work on EV/hybrid cars.
There has been a huge increase in the number of MOT testers disqualified in the past two years. Worse still, the latest news is part of a longer-term trend, with disqualifications having been on the up for years. Indeed, nearly 3.5 times more MOT testers are being disqualified now compared with six years ago.
MAN Truck & Bus and Michelin have announced a new training partnership at Hanover’s IAA Transportation show. From January 2023, Michelin will begin a three-year global cooperation with MAN ProfiDrive, the driver training programme from the Munich-based firm. MAN said that Michelin’s commitment to sustainable motoring made the tyre manufacturer a good choice of partner. The programme trains commercial vehicle drivers in the safe operation of safety and assistance systems, fuel-efficient driving, and the use of telematics services, as well as other topics relevant to fleet managers and entrepreneurs in the transport sector.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has launched a new training academy, designed to train, develop and upskill new and existing people working within the automotive aftermarket. The academy will evolve substantially when the new IAAF website goes live later this year, but IAAF has moved quickly to implement and promote initiatives and courses that support its growing membership.
Sumitomo Rubber SA (SRSA) is following up its Dunlop Container road safety and sustainable township entrepreneurship project established in 2012 with a further training scheme. Dunlop’s Enterprise Development dealers can now apply to send their employees for training in one of four focus areas: Technical Skills, Occupational Health & Safety, Business Acumen and Sales and Customer Care. SRSA will select candidates from the applications for the fully funded training.
Companies across Western and Central Europe are struggling to find sufficient skilled labour. Continental is addressing this problem by stressing the importance of in-company, vocational training and of ensuring that this is financially attractive for young people.
Repairify has acquired Automotive Training Group (ATG). The US-based technical training company offers live and virtual classes to automotive professionals in the 50 states and internationally. It emphasises quality instructional materials and experienced educators. It is the latest company to join the Repairify portfolio of brands, assembled by private investor Kinderhook Industries to service all aspects of the auto servicing in the latest data-driven era.
The number of technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK is rising rapidly, according to the latest data from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). The first three months of 2022 had the highest quarterly increase of EV qualified technicians on record. The data also suggests that the shortfall between EVs on the UK’s roads and approved technicians to service, repair and MOT them, will hit later than first anticipated, now 2028 instead of 2026.
ATS Euromaster, which describes itself as a network of “tyre and maintenance centres”, has invested in upskilling technicians so they can work on both hybrid and electric vehicles. Technicians have been trained to IMI standards as part of a phased roll out.
After a break due to the pandemic, the Rema Tip Top Academy resumed training operations for users of Rema Tip Top repair systems in March 2022. In the course of the re-start, the classroom training programme was expanded to include webinars. In short, Rema Tip Top has taken a step towards the virtualisation of its course, with “a smart software solution and state-of-the-art video technology.”
Schaeffler’s Repxpert Academy Live training event returned on Saturday 21 May, with a tremendously successful event held at Bridgend College STEAM Academy, where both professional vehicle technicians and garage owners took full advantage of a full day of comprehensive training sessions and workshop demonstrations.