The first intake of 12 ‘fast-fit’ apprentices have joined the group which wants to train more workshop employees.
Brian Schumaker, Lookers’ operations director, says: “Over the past five years, we have seen the benefit of training our own technicians, rather than trying to take them from other companies.
“This is now a major focus for us because aftersales is a growing source of profit for the group.
We are training our own people to be technicians, and want to teach them customer-handling skills, which is part of our ‘customers for life’ mission.”
In the new initiative, Lookers is taking apprentices aged between 18 and 21, rather than 16 or 17. “We want slightly more mature young people who can be employed in our workshops more quickly,” says Schumaker.
The apprentices will be trained for two years through a block release programme at Emtec’s Leicester facility.
Diane Pocock, Lookers’ training and development manager, says: “Fast-fit style services are becoming increasingly popular with many motor manufacturers and we need technicians who can work to tight deadlines. We want a new intake of 12 fast-fit apprentices each year.”
Gary Davenport, Emtec’s programme manager, says: “We are confident the fast-fit apprenticeship will produce skilled, dedicated and efficient technicians. The industry needs technicians who can keep pace with a constantly-changing industry. We will include telephone technique to help apprentices prepare for the customer-facing role.”