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Appleyard targets in-house training

West Yorkshire retail group Colin Appleyard has set up an in-house training programme for its management and sales staff.

Previously, staff from the AM award-winning dealer group attended manufacturer training only. Rather than one-off training days, the scheme intends to revisit what has been learnt, looking at how staff have implemented the training into their work.

“Training often goes in one ear and out the other,” said Robin Luscombe, Colin Appleyard senior director.

“We’re trying to overcome this. Rather than return to the workplace and do what we used to do, training one month and going over it the next should help it make a difference to our staff.” Total outlay for training is around £35,000, with more than £1,500 invested per person.

Currently, there are 12 managers and six sales staff undertaking the new programme.

If successful, as Luscombe expects, and if “the economy picks up”, Colin Appleyard will run the training on an annual basis.

For managers, the scheme lasts nine months, while salespeople train for 18 weeks.

Staff turnover at the group is less than 10% but Luscombe hopes the programme will “reduce the costs of having people that don’t last”.

“It will also give people a chance to make themselves into good salesmen,” Luscombe added. Training is one day a week for salespeople and one half-day a month for managers.

Yorkshire Sales and Marketing Developments, the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management provider for the region, will deliver the sales training, while the management coaching will run in conjunction with the Blue Water Partnership.

Luscombe said staff would continue to attend manufacturer training days alongside the scheme. Colin Appleyard already runs apprentice schemes for young technicians, parts assistants and administration staff and it operates a policy of promoting from within.

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