Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Damaged cars find a new use in training tomorrows technicians
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 40, Issue 5
Vehicles that have been written-off because of rear-end accident damage are being given a new lease of life in colleges across the UK as part of an initiative to help the training of young technicians.
Ten further-education colleges are part of an industry consortium that includes Snap-on Diagnostics, bluecycle and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which set up the three-year pilot scheme. The programme includes the provision of vehicles, diagnostic equipment, access to technical data and support training for lecturers.
An online marketplace for accident-damaged vehicles, bluecycle is providing each center with a car of less than five years old, to be used for training purposes only. The vehicles, replaced every six months, enable students and staff to gain valuable, in-depth experience of various production models.
According to the Learning and Skills Council’s “Working Futures” research, the automotive-retail sector will need to replace up to 120,000 people who are due to retire over the next decade. Motor-retail businesses in England already have more than 11,000 vacancies, of which almost half are for highly-skilled technicians.
Advanced systems, such as fibre optics and controlled area networks (CAN), are increasingly commonplace on new cars, demanding that technicians be proficient in electronics and diagnostics. Recent support training for lecturers through the initiative has included training on CAN systems. This was provided by Snap-on Diagnostics.
By supporting this initiative bluecycle and Snap-on are both gaining industry recognition by earning Skillmiles points. The Skillmiles scheme, launched in February by the IMI, is a way of recognizing employer support in the campaign to raise skill levels in the automotive sector. The partnership with further education is an example of how organizations can gain recognition by demonstrating their commitment to raising skills in the workforce.
Helen Taylor, UK marketing manager for Snap-on Diagnostics, which is providing both equipment and technical training, commented: “Snap-on is pleased to be involved with this initiative, which is helping to raise the standard of technician training in the UK.”
Victoria Martin, of bluecycle, said: “We are committed to driving the motor industry forward and recognizes that appropriate training is crucial to achieving this goal.”
Steve Hunsley, curriculum manager at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher, one of the centers participating in the initiative, said: “Being part of this scheme means our students benefit from having current vehicles and electronic equipment in a classroom environment. Our continued involvement continues to drive up the standard of technicians available to our local employers.”