Mercedes-Benz Retail Group has become the first ever automotive company to win a National Training Award.
The regional award was in the ‘large employer’ category and was presented in recognition of the extensive North London management development programme implemented in 2009.
The judges assessed the training scheme itself and visited the businesses involved to look at the physical impact it has had on the way the company operates and the changes it has brought about.
The winning North London programme was designed to create a change in the culture of the way the dealer group's retailers operated and was described as "radical".
Put together by market area director for North London, Simon Ackers and organisational development manager, Karl White, it focused on the group’s managers.
Whilst the programme was specifically tailored for Mercedes-Benz Retail Group’s North London retailers, it is now influencing training schemes being rolled out across the group.
White said: “We felt that the most effective way to implement this change in culture was to focus our efforts on the management team. If we could make the change at the top, we knew that through the structure of our business the changes would filter through to everyone who works for Mercedes-Benz North London and, most importantly, create a noticeable improvement to the customer experience.”
Simon Bartley, chief executive of UK Skills which manages the National Training Awards said: “Now more than ever it is essential for organisations to continue to invest in the development of their staff. The UK’s future, after all, can only be strengthened and sustained by people who have the skills needed to meet the demands of today’s globalised economy.”
Run on an annual basis on behalf of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills by UK Skills, the awards are also supported by Skills Development Scotland, The Welsh Assembly Government and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.
Mercedes-Benz Retail locations are in Birmingham Central, Brooklands, Brentford, Bromley, Chelsea, Colindale, Croydon, Dartford, Epsom, Heathrow, Solihull, Stratford, Stockport, Loughton, Manchester Central, Macclesfield, Orpington, Park Royal, Romford, Tamworth, Temple Fortune, Watford and Whitefield.