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Recruitment: I want to be... a bodyshop manager

Mike Bligh has just accepted the role of bodyshop manager at Nidd Vale Group’s Leeds Road site in Harrogate following three and a half years of service there as a panel technician.

Bligh will be liaising with big contract holders, including Zurich, Tesco, ALD, UK Assist, Vauxhall, Saab, Mazda and Seat, while at the same time driving a 21 member workforce, administrative duties and ensuring customer satisfaction.

“I wouldn’t be here doing this job if I didn’t enjoy it,” says Bligh.

He believes that the three most important qualities a person must possess to succeed in the role are ambition, drive and patience.

“It can be a frustrating game because things can go wrong quite easily,” he says. “It’s especially hard when it’s elements that are out of your control, such as parts on back order.

“You need to see the positives and keep going, otherwise the negatives can beat you.”

Bligh says the hardest part of his job is the Monday morning meetings in the boardroom, when he has to go through his figures.

“Regardless of what business you’re in it’s all about sales,” he says. “Here, we need to sell hours and it’s easy to fall by the wayside. There’s always the concern that you won’t hit the targets. But again, it’s about working on the positives.”

Before joining Nidd Vale Group, Bligh worked as a panel technician and estimator foreman at VW and Audi in Harrogate. He believes that his experience in these roles helped him get to where he is now.

“You need to understand what the workshop guys are going through,” Bligh says.

To motivate his staff, Bligh uses his approachability and good sense of humour.

“We also have monetary incentives at the end of every month and I congratulate the staff by buying them hot sandwiches and drinks,” he says.

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