Every member of staff at the 207 Citroën franchised dealerships, from dealer principal to valeter, will undergo an assessment of competency. Any skills gaps will be filled via a tailored training course that will be accredited by a vocational organisation independent of Citroën.
Simon Monahan, Citroën UK sales director, told AM: “This will give staff a passport that demonstrates to their current employer and any other that they have a certain level of skill. It’s a value for the individual as well as the company, and is a different approach to training.”
The majority of manufacturer-backed training is brand-specific product training on sales and service/repair. Citroën’s approach will be more in line with the aspirations of organisations like the Institute of the Motor Industry and its Automotive Technician Accreditation scheme. Both companies use similar terminology when describing their programmes as creating ‘skills passports’ for employees.
Monahan concedes there is a risk in providing staff with transferable skills that can be used in any dealership, regardless of franchise. But, he added: “If we expect a different result in customer experience, we can’t do the same things.”
The Citroën Academy will be launched in the first quarter of 2008. Training will be funded from dealers’ existing contributions.
“There will be no extra charge – we are simply making the course more relevant to their staff skills shortages,” said Monahan.