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Kia urges dealers to take on apprentices

Kia wants all of its dealers to take on at least one apprentice once the economy picks up.

Ian Goswell, Kia dealer training manager, said there was a greater demand for technicians with more Kia vehicles on the road.

The carmaker is actively promoting its apprenticeship programmes.

Goswell said dealers were often reluctant to take on apprentices due to cost. However, they only pay apprentices’ salaries and travel costs to training centres.

Over three years, apprentices bring nearly three times’ return on investment to a dealership, he added.

“We want to offer an industry-leading apprenticeship programme. The programme is so important because of sales growth, customer satisfaction and new technology coming through.

“Kia vehicles on the road have nearly doubled since 2005. Technicians are absolutely key in customer satisfaction for retention and future success,” Goswell said.

“We’re giving them career aspirations – we can take someone through from an apprentice to a dealer principal.

"That’s the great benefit of having all training under one umbrella.”

Assessors visit dealerships regularly to resolve any issues with apprentices and dealers. It helps demonstrate continuity between Kia, dealers and apprentices, said Goswell.

Kia has recently opened a £500,000 training centre in Watford, run by automotive training provider Skillnet.

Previously, it had been renting space at an RAC training centre which also provided its training.

The training centre was funded by Skillnet and Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Kia has provided equipment, vehicles and staff for the centre.




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