More than 800 technicians have passed since the ATA programme was launched by the Institute of the Motor Industry in June.
Because ATA relates to the individual, and not the business, details of those awarded it are listed on a public website. This is designed to provide consumers with the information needed to find local ATA technicians.
But AM has spoken to several managers who claim the details are already being used by recruitment agencies trying to poach their staff. Some suggest the ATA website should not provide full details of the technician and work place.
“With the system as it is, all it takes is for a recruitment agency to get the technician’s name from the website, phone my workshop and pretend to be a friend calling and I could be losing a valuable member of staff,” says one franchised dealer in the north of England.
“I’m not knocking ATA by any means, I’m 100% supportive of it and think it’s a fantastic move forward. But they’ve accidentally created a comprehensive recruitment database. A simple change to the website will make staff more secure.”
Sarah Sillars, IMI chief executive, says ATA has “excellent support” across the industry, which sees it as a professional recognition for technicians.
She adds: “The governance of the scheme is being shaped by a cross-industry steering group. Any issues raised by the sector will be fully debated.”