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IMI launches Diploma for sales employees

Manufacturers are embracing a new training initiative designed to improve sales standards in the dealership and encourage more people into the industry.

The Institute of the Motor Industry launched the first ever Diploma for sales staff in consultation with carmakers and the newly created Automotive Skills. It believes the scheme will help to reduce staff attrition rates, estimated at up to 40 per cent a year, by providing employees with a clear, structured career path.

“The Diploma will also make sales positions more aspirational for new entrants,” adds an IMI spokesman. “Sales staff can earn a lot of money – upwards of £50,000 a year – it's a great career.” He expects the scheme, which has received widespread coverage on TV, radio and in the national press, to have 1000 candidates on board by 2005.

“This is a real shot in the arm for automotive retailing,” says IMI chief executive Sarah Sillars. “Customers like doing business with professional, motivated, helpful staff. This new qualification will enable businesses to take standards to a new level.”

Candidates are encouraged to work at their own pace on the sales courses, which are split into Certificate (guided learning hours: 162) and Diploma (342 hours). Assessments are work-based and online.

The scheme is on the National Framework, which means it qualifies for funding through the Learning and Skills Council.

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