Through our membership of the NTDA, the leading trade association representing and promoting the interests of the tyre wholesale, distribution and retail sectors of the automotive aftercare market, we were delighted to attend the recent South East and Central South Regional Meeting held at Yokohama HPT Ltd and chaired by Gavin White.
Senior representatives from the likes of Cooper Tire, Traxx Tyres, GiPA UK, Sigmavision, Autotech Recruit, Checkpoint, Absolute Alignment and Fraser Evans & Sons were in attendance discussing a number of key points, including the shortage of tyre technicians and how recruitment is becoming a major issue.
Tyre fitters are in high demand right now and it is increasingly difficult to find and retain good people. Gavin White, Regional Chair and Managing Director of AutoTech Recruit said: “the demographic time bomb has become a reality. Technicians are retiring and as companies hadn’t put enough effort and resource into training their own, replacements poaching has now become the norm!”
Lack of willingness to invest in staff training and development is being further compounded by the fact that a career as a tyre technician is not seen as being particularly attractive in today’s digital and millennial world. Especially as the industry is often not portrayed in the best light! “There is too much emphasis on dirt and grease and not enough on the new innovative technologies that technicians now have access to”, said Andy Pryce, Managing Director of Sigmavision.
The industry is changing and so the role of a technician is rapidly changing too, investment is needed now more than ever. Investment in people, investment in technology and investment in preserving the long term future of your business.
The NTDA is actively taking steps to address technician training, safety and development, seeing a great deal of continued success in their REACT and TTPDS schemes. Launched in 2011, REACT has become the de facto licence for those technicians responding to roadside tyre incidents. It provides technicians with a licence to work safely at the roadside and since its launch has seen 5,337 commercial tyre technicians trained, assessed as competent and issued with a licence.
TTPDS is the Tyre Technician Professional Development (Licensing) Scheme and has seen 368 commercial tyre technicians and 34 retail tyre technicians receive their new licenses. The scheme is growing in stature with more training providers running new courses, it is expected to become as popular as the REACT scheme in the not too distant future.
Stefan Hay, Chief Executive of the NTDA said: “The training, assessment of competency and licensing approach the NTDA has introduced is now underpinning the Association’s mission to raise standards and enhance the professionalism of the hard-working technicians who are keeping Britain’s motorists on the road.”
The NTDA has also recently become a stakeholder in the Slow Down Move Over (SDMO) UK campaign, becoming an ally to the roadside rescue and recovery industry. During 2019, the NTDA intends to provide its members offering commercial tyre roadside assistance van decals promoting the campaign message: Slow Down Or Move Over Safely.
You can find out more about the campaign here – https://www.ntda.co.uk/2019/01/02/ntda-becomes-stakeholder-slow-move-uk-group