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With the threat of a supercomplaint from the National Consumer Council hanging over the industry, companies need to act quickly to address their management challenges. That’s according to Gordon Roscoe of Blue Water Partnership.

"If the issue of management isn’t sorted out", he says, "and if it isn’t apparent that standards are rising, there will undoubtedly be some level of regulation coming in from outside the industry fairly quickly. The ARMS standard is a step in the right direction, but it could also be argued that the Level IV qualification is pitched too high, given many automotive managers come from a non-academic background."

It’s an area that Roscoe will be addressing at the industry’s inaugural People Skills conference, which takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, and is presented by AM in partnership with Automotive Skills. The headline sponsor is Carter & Carter, and the event is chaired by the IMI’s Sarah Sillars.

Other key issues include attracting new blood to the industry; aligning training and development with the needs of the dealer; managing performance in a growing organization; and reducing staff turnover.

The conference is called Recruiting, developing and retaining the right people, and is designed to help motor retailers of all sizes increase profitability by focusing on their most important asset – their staff. It’s a unique opportunity for motor dealers and HR specialists working in the industry to hear new ideas for improving performance. It’s also an opportunity for delegates to fine-tune their strategic thinking.

  • For details, contact Luke Clements on 01733 468325 (

  • Click on the next page for a list of speakers #AM_ART_SPLIT# The conference features an opening address from David McVean, deputy director at the Department of Trade and Industry’s Workplace Skills Unit. Other speakers include:

  • Future leadership
    Chris Donkin, Courland Automotive Practice

  • Manage the HR process
    Guy Liddall, Motor Trade Selection

  • The golden rules of staff retention
    Tony Salt, Investors in People

  • Growth – the HR challenges
    Derek Day and Mike Taylor, Hutton Turner

  • Incentivizing staff retention
    Dominic Doe, Maritz

  • A more scientific approach to recruitment
    Rod Cornwell, Thomas International

  • Recruit the right management material
    Jess Starley and Tim Bryant, RTS Consultants

  • Build an outstanding management team
    Gordon Roscoe, Blue Water

  • Be a better coach
    Steve Benfield, Beech Consultancy

  • Spend your training budget wisely
    Geoff Bloom and Damien Scully, Lorien Training

  • Profit from online learning
    Simon Bowkett, Symco Training

  • Employment law
    Ben Thornber, Martineau Johnson
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