Keith Stead explains how The MOT Training Centre is going from strength-to-strength since opening its doors 10 months ago.
The MOT Training Centre was once a dedicated workshop for Stamford College students up until two years ago, when it was replaced with a new facility. This left the old workshop building looking for a new use.
The eureka moment to open a training centre was prompted by a former tutor who worked with the college to get an MOT training centre off the ground. This led to the appointment of Keith Stead, who was brought in to manage the day-to-day operations due to his 20 years of knowledge and expertise in the automotive industry. “My experience covers vehicle electrics, MOT, air conditioning as well as MOT management work overseas”, Stead recalled.
The first thing you need to know about the centre is that it is separate from the college, albeit on the same premises. “We are completely stand- alone”, said Stead. “We only deal with the industry. Although this business was established on behalf of the college, we have no students coming here until they’re qualified and in full-time employment”, adding that the courses are for technicians ready to build on their skills for their careers.
COURSES AND STRUCTURE
There is a range of courses that garages can take advantage of. This includes the MOT Training for Light Vehicle and Motorcycle Testers courses as well as an MOT Training for Managers programme of which are all IMI accredited. There is also air-con DEFRA training and CPD for existing testers.
The courses are usually run in groups of four, which has proved more effective compared to running sessions with larger quantities of candidates, according to Stead. “We run a maximum of four people per course. This is because it’s easier to bond, ask questions and each technician can have their individual time with our trainers”, he continued. “For us, it’s not about how many people we can squeeze into a class, it is more for the longevity, keeping our prices and classroom sizes lower, and it isn’t about how fast we can make money. We’d rather have constant bookings because some people are shocked at what some places are changing”.
To make sure all amenities are available, the building contains a large workshop area comprising of an MOT bay, one ramp and lane setter, designed for class four and seven vehicles as well as catering to class one and two motorcycles. Technicians also have access to a mixed bag of diagnostic tools and vehicles to practice on, as Stead points out. “We have diesel and petrol vehicles from a variety of ages so they have the choice of using old marques or modern ones including Volvos and Renaults”.
In addition to the workshop space, the premises has a classroom and computer area for the theory aspect of each course, and being DV8 accredited means delegates can sit their exams on site while being assessed by a member of the DVSA during their final practical.
A Hybrid course has recently been introduced that the firm is currently promoting to its trade customers. The business has also attracted interest from nearby dealerships.
With around 26,000 MOT garages operating across the UK, the firm will certainly not fall short of testers to train as they gear up the next generation of technicians making their mark on the industry.
The MOT Training Centre
Drift Road, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 1XA