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Eight questions to… Glenn Makin, technical expert, Stratstone Land Rover

Glenn Makin, Stratstone Land Rover Nottingham

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

As technical expert at Stratstone Land Rover Nottingham, I am responsible for managing the workflow across our workshop and motivating a team of 16 technicians to meet their goals and targets. I work with the wider dealership team to support our head of business with any customer concerns, to ensure mechanical issues are resolved quickly with minimal impact to our customers and so our customers drive away happy. I also oversee the training of all of our technicians, coaching them day-to-day and ensuring they are motivated to learn more and develop new skills.

 

What are the most significant challenges you face in your field of work?

Technology is constantly changing, so our technicians need to be equipped with the training and skills to ensure we stay at the top of our game. We’re seeing a move away from diesel to more petrol-hybrid and fully electric vehicles. With these types of vehicles, there is no margin for error as you’re dealing with electronics and batteries so training is definitely key. At Stratstone, we have a strong family atmosphere so sharing skills between team members certainly helps to overcome these challenges. If someone has had experience working with a particular type of technology before we will listen to and learn from them.

 

How might these challenges be overcome?

By ensuring our team members are continually trained to a high standard so they can work effectively and adapt to new technologies. Having team members who are confident and well skilled ensures we are in a much better position to adapt to the new technologies coming our way. A number of years ago we set out a plan to continuously develop our team so they always have opportunities to learn more and stay at their peak performance. We have had great success with this model as the team are passionate about training. We even had one of our apprentices, Mike Wright, crowned the Global JLR Apprentice of the Year 2018, an achievement we were all very proud of.

 

What attracted you to this area of expertise?

I have always been interested in anything related to engineering and how things work, particularly cars. I started in the motor trade at 16 and my first job was at a small garage with a mechanic who knew everything about old engines – a true mechanical expert. This inspired me to want to specialise in the field, mixing my passion for the Land Rover brand and my love of engineering. I have been with Stratstone for more than 17 years and my role has grown so much over that time. It’s rewarding to see new talent coming in and putting the skills you’ve taught them into practice. There’s always something new at Land Rover which definitely makes work exciting. The new Jaguar Land Rover Arch sites are something I’m really looking forward to as it’s an exciting opportunity to get to work across both brands and continue to broaden our skills.

 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career, and how have you made use of it?

One thing someone once said to me was that ‘no matter how much you know, you will never know it all’ and I believe that learning is definitely key. Knowing how to do a job is not just what it’s about, you also need to have the drive and passion to want to learn more. I’m not afraid of learning new skills and challenging myself. This is something I try to instil in our apprentices and new technicians. 

 

What drives you?

Wanting to learn more – I try to learn something new every day. I also have a wife and four children, so my family drives me to do more.

 

What’s your favourite app?

WhatsApp – this is a life saver at work, sharing photos of technical fixes across the team.

 

How do you relax?

I start everyday with the gym and this gets me set up for the day at work – I then look forward to a relaxing evening at home with my family.

 

Further reading: Read Jaguar Land Rover's FAQ for more on JLR's apprenticeship programmes

 



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