The inaugural convention was held in Hanover and Wolfsburg, and was attended by 90 delegates from the UK and across Europe.
The NRG group will meet regularly for training opportunities and business advice specifically tailored to their requirements from Acoat’s specialist consultants. Members are also able to profit from sharing experiences and learning as they climb the ladder to overall bodyshop management.
“The industry skills shortage is well publicized. We set up the NRG group to help tackle this by encouraging and advising people as they move to the next level,” says Rab Lee, services manager, Acoat. “It is vital for the health of the industry that future managers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to run a modern bodyshop, and the NRG network provides valuable support for this.”
It is envisaged there will be an annual Europe-based meeting for all members, bolstered by quarterly meetings in Britain for UK delegates. The 19 UK members of the NRG group are all Acoat partners, a position offered by Akzo to those it considers to be the top bodyshops in its network. One British attendee was David Vella of Karl Vella UK.
He says: “It was good to meet people in a similar position and swap ideas and information. “I think in the first meeting maybe the European guys got more out of it as they learnt a lot about the situation with insurance companies in the UK. But I’ll definitely be attending subsequent meetings and will be keeping in contact with the UK and European members.”