A need for more technicians is leading Volvo Car UK to mandate that every dealership in its network will engage in apprenticeships.
Following requests from its dealer training action group, the carmaker will mandate that every Volvo dealer and authorised repairer has an apprentice technician at all times.
Volvo’s apprentice scheme run by its training centre in Daventry is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, and David Baddeley, Volvo Car UK director of customer service, said there is a greater demand in the dealer network for apprentice training than ever before.
“The dealer body has said it sees the franchise is growing, and we need to be making sure that we’re developing our own technicians. So we will roll that out as a standard to help to address the issue of service capacity,” he told AM.
After a period of stagnation, the Volvo brand has grown its UK new car sales since 2012, and in two years’ time, Baddeley said, the network can expect to have the same sized aftersales parc as it had 10 years ago, at some 250,000 cars under nine years old.
Along with the SPA large car platform underpinning the new Volvo XC90 SUV this year and Volvo S90 saloon in 2016, a new programme is being introduced at workshops which can diagnose any issues with the car as it arrives on site through wireless VIDA (Volvo Information and Diagnostic Application) connectivity. It negates the need to plug in the car.
Once a car built on the SPA platform stops outside the workshop, VIDA will automatically read any diagnostic codes from the vehicle, and can effectively create a job card for the technician on his VIDA terminal.