On the Job Apprenticeships are the Bridge from Tech Schools to Experience
Lets ask a simple question: Would you hand a student who just finished a pre-med program a knife and say, “Ok give this patient a bypass”? Of course not! A doctor would need to go through years of on-the-job training before they would be expected to perform at that level. So why then in the collision repair industry do we expect technical students to walk into our shops as “A” techs?
We as an industry have to accept our role in the support and training of our next generation of collision repair professionals. If we are ever going to find the tens of thousands of new employees needed to meet the demand over the next decade, we need to stop turning away technical students by bringing them into the shop and handing them a broom since they are not able to perform day one in the same way as a more senior employee.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone has to pay their dues and work hard to grow their knowledge and skills. The question is are we giving them the opportunity? I recently had the pleasure to speak at a business meeting of about 50 top shop operators from around the country. When asked how many of them had a formal apprenticeship program at their facility 5 shops out of the 50 raised their hands.
Ours is an industry ripe with opportunity for young, talented individuals. With an average technician income of around $52,000, the collision repair industry offers a great living. Until we can provide entry level people a structured way to learn on the job, we will continue to struggle to bring new people into our businesses. Tech schools should provide the building blocks, we need to take them to the next level.
If you are interested in setting up an apprenticeship program for your facility click on the link below to access a free sample apprenticeship program Talent Monger has put together.
Gregory McVicker, Co-Founder Talent Monger LLC