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Training courses - are they necessary?

By Brian Tinson

"Why do I need this course? I've been doing this job for 40 years!"

This sort of comment is sometimes made by attendees at the start of our electrical training courses. It is no doubt heard more often by training and HR managers sending staff for training. Recently it popped up in conversation with the training manager of one of our largest clients, Scobie McIntosh.

Scobie McIntosh is today a major provider to the food service industry rising from humble beginnings in 1885 producing sheet metal products for small Scottish bakeries. With the acquisition of GVS Assist in 2014 they are now a leading player in refreshment machine servicing as well. Scobie McIntosh hired their first service engineer in 1965 and now have more than 60 in the UK alone.  These are now enjoying the benefits of Tinson training courses

What was noteworthy about this conversation was how often the themes around training that emerged are shared with other businesses with whom we work. These can be summarised as; customers wanting to be sure that engineers are properly qualified, that knowledge is up to date with equipment, that work can be done safely and ensuring that experience is not decaying into bad habits and short cuts.

Technology moves on at a relentless pace and can lull users into a false sense of security and lose sight of some of the fundamental rules. To ensure that their staff be properly trained and can prove it on the spot Scobie McIntosh subscribe to the Human Focus card system. This card carried by each engineer lists the training received and the companies, such as Tinson Training, that have provided it - rather like your driving licence showing the categories of vehicle you can drive. In an increasingly safety aware and litigious world this is sound practice.

It was good to hear that the doubtful comment heard by the Scobie McIntosh Training manager had changed to “Actually that was really good and made me realise how much I didn't know or had forgotten” by the end of our course.

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