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Recruitment: Mercedes calls on RAC for training

Mercedes-Benz’s technician training is undergoing a major revamp, which sees its in-house training team moving to field roles and the RAC moving in to deliver technical training.

Three former trainers will become mentors. They will visit dealers and retailers to assess the training and development needs of both the businesses and individual technicians.

The remaining four trainers will become course developers. They will use the mentors’ information to design training solutions.

The RAC has a three-year contract to provide training at Mercedes-Benz head- quarters in Milton Keynes.

With eight RAC trainers and a line manager offering 150 days of training per year, and around 3,500 technicians, there will be, on average, four days of training available annually for every technician.

The RAC coaches will receive tuition at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Germany, before taking on the training.

Mercedes-Benz said the new initiative “demonstrates an innovative approach to ensure that its dealer network service quality levels remain consistent and dynamic”.

The RAC has worked with the German manufacturer before in technical training.

Mercedes-Benz technical training manager Tony Hetherington said the new structure “was a really good idea and service.”

He said: “Our new strategy of field mentors and course developers needs a trusted partner to deliver the end product. We have an ongoing and positive business relationship with the RAC, having worked with them on technical training for a number of years.”

n The RAC has recently opened its first automotive training centre in Nottinghamshire, in a bid to attract school leavers into the motor repair sector.

A second is due to open in Warrington in the autumn, with more in the long term, depending on the success of the initial centres.

Students can gain an IMI-recognised technical certificate, which is a step towards an engineering diploma if they continue training until aged 19.

Suitable trainees will also be given an opportunity to join RAC-supported apprentice programmes.

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