The importer last week made a “significant investment” into a new development programme for its dealer network. Called The Academy, it covers sales, aftersales, finance and fleet sectors, and includes some degree courses for senior management.
Mike Wigmore, Academy director, hopes the training will help reduce employee churn within the network in the long term. However, the immediate aim is to improve retailers’ business performance.
“In the past we’ve not been able to offer a complete package of training for everyone from new entrants to dealer principals. We have been quite effective in training new recruits, but recognise we need to do more with more senior staff,” says Wigmore.
“The benefit is that a more stable and knowledgeable base of staff will provide better customer service and significantly improve the performance of their dealerships.”
The Academy has Institute of the Motor Industry training centre status and its courses are mapped against IMI Technical Certificate qualifications. Wigmore says it will provide training across Fiat, Alfa and Fiat CV networks, with courses charged out at a flat rate, which is subsidised by the importer.
Some training will utilise online learning, while some will be conducted at one of three purpose-built training centres in Slough, Warrington and Glasgow.
“The first step is to conduct an evaluation to see where the skills gaps are and then develop a training plan to deliver those skills,” says Wigmore.