INDEPENDENT Ford dealers across the UK are recruiting 1,000 technicians with cutting-edge software, electronic and electrical skills to reflect the rapid evolution of the manufacturer’s product range.
Ford of Britain says they are needed because the launch of the technologically advanced all-new Fiesta as well as the planned introduction of new electric and hybrid powertrains combined with the ongoing Transit sales success is stimulating a surge in demand.
Responsible for complex diagnostics and repairs, master technicians, which are the highest ranking, can earn up to £45,000 a year.
The new positions are available nationwide for existing trained technicians, technically competent mechanics, trained armed forces technicians and apprentices. In addition to working at Ford dealerships and workshops, technicians can also join Ford’s new Mobile Service Programme, providing maintenance work on site for fleet customers.
Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to join the UK’s biggest network, representing the country’s favourite car and van brand. Ford’s product range is growing almost as fast as its technology, and although we value traditional technical skills, we’re looking for ambitious and flexible technicians who can join us on our journey to hybrids, battery electric vehicles, autonomous technology – and beyond.’
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – the UK’s automotive trade body – recorded 2016 as the busiest year for automotive workshops and garages in the UK. Alongside the increase in customer demand, an Auto Retail Network report highlighted European-wide shortages for specialised technicians.
Comprehensive training, up to master technician level, will be provided free to the new technicians at the state-of-the-art Henry Ford Academy in Daventry, which is partnered with The Motor Ombudsman, the organisation responsible for raising industry standards and improving best practice in aftermarket servicing across the industry.
Leah Catton, 19, an apprentice technician at the Sandicliffe Ford dealer in Nottingham who started her Level 2 apprenticeship at the Henry Ford Academy last year, said: ‘My passion for engineering began during trips to the British Touring Car Championships when I was younger. Visiting the pits and talking with engineers really sparked my interest.
‘I had just begun my Level 2 Light Vehicle Maintenance Course when I was made aware of the apprenticeship scheme at the Sandicliffe Ford dealership. Every day is different, and with support from my mentor I’m already involved in complex computer diagnostics and maintenance tasks. Meanwhile, I’m continuing my formal instruction at the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry, where we get hands-on training in small class groups.
‘My academy assessor visits me at work too so it’s all linked together, and my skills base is growing with each passing day. Long term, I want to make the most of my training and work in the racing scene – preferably in BTCC, where it all started for me.’
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