After the recent opening of Continental Tyres’ ContiAcademy, CVW spoke to Steve Howat, General Manager – Technical Services at Continental, about how the new courses on offer will affect commercial vehicle technicians and the industry as a whole.
The new ContiAcademy in Lutterworth further supports Conti360° Network commercial dealerships across the UK, hosting advanced targeted training in a central UK location to meet the exact knowledge needs of each commercial vehicle technician attending.
“The ContiAcademy seeks to recognize and strengthen the significant contributions that our dealership network brings to Continental,” said Steve Howat, General Manager – Technical Services at Continental. “The new training centre will help to improve the performance and efficiency of all partners across the network. It also reflects our ongoing commitment to raise the profile of the tyre technician profession as we encourage tyre technicians and new drivers to join the industry.”
A tailored fit
The ContiAcademy’s ethos is to adapt its assessment offering to meet the particular skills and knowledge level of each delegate. Tutors visit technicians in their place of work to complete workplace assessments, with exemptions offered on any mandatory modules to technicians that can prove proficiency.
Steve noted, “There is nothing worse than delegates spending significant time out of their business covering topics that they already know well just to gain the qualification.
“The ContiAcademy approach is to observe trainees in their working environment, and base the training required on the skills noted. We recognise a person’s current abilities to ensure each course adds real value to learners.”
The ContiAcademy provides the practical and theoretical commercial vehicle training to improve the knowledge base of technicians and help ensure that they are professionally servicing the vehicles that arrive at their workshop. Courses include REACT training, technical commercial tyre training, practical training and health & safety.
Steve continued, “On other training courses within the industry, trainees work with simulated rigs, which do not provide realistic training scenarios. At the ContiAcademy, we use a real vehicle, ensuring all trainees receive effective training that simulates real-world conditions and is directly applicable to vehicles that they will likely come across.”
The schedule is also adaptable to reflect operators’ time constraints. Courses on offer are intensive half-day and one-day courses, while small groups of six to eight trainees ensure focused training. A flexible assessment approach means that course assessment can be conducted either on site at Lutterworth, or after the training during a technician’s working day.
Steve concluded, “Continental understands that excessive time away from day-to-day operations equates to a loss in revenue for service providers and dealers, so we want to really ensure every minute spent with us is spent on learning – not assessment.”
Guided by professional trainers and technicians at Continental Tyres, commercial vehicle technicians can rest assured that they are receiving the very best training available, with all ContiAcademy training courses aligned to industry qualification bodies, including the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) and NTDA (National Tyre Distributors Association) accreditation.