Why retailers should invest in training

With over 1,500 candidates qualified, Cytech leads the ways in promoting specialist cycle retailers and their people. ACT’s Mark Brown explains why investing in people power is money well spent...
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People are the single greatest USP that any specialist retailer has. Investing in this asset and developing core competence is an essential part of generating profitable, long-term income.

A recent study conducted by Manpower found that 77 per cent of British workers expect to be trained as part of their job and among those who did not receive work-based training, 67 per cent stated that it could be a reason to move.

Learning ‘on the job’ is all well and good, but retailers need to support structured training in order to ensure quality, consistency and delivery.

As Mark Smith from Evans Cycles points out: “Cytech training is absolutely vital for our mechanics as it gives them a rigorous grounding in the skills essential to our workshops; starting from the basics of health and safety and bike assembly to servicing suspension and disc brakes.”

“Naturally we could undertake our own in-house training, but we believe that the Cytech certificate has significant value to our staff as it is transferable outside of Evans Cycles, and hence we are totally committed to it."

Cytech accreditation is a way to benchmark your business while measuring and promoting it against your competitors. You may know that your workshop is skilled, but does Joe Public?
Promoting the inherent skills within your business through Cytech can actually increase customer footfall and satisfaction.

As Martin Richardson from Southdowns Bikes says: “Cytech qualifications are a must for the bike business. Customers know that if a bike comes to our store for servicing they will get the same treatment as when they walk into the service reception of a motor trade dealership. Sometimes it can be better.”

Cytech offers a complete range of options from novice distance learning to expert technical and retail disciplines, with initiatives underway to expand into wider areas of personnel development.
As the industry standard Cytech is a core requirement for initiatives such as Shimano Service Centre, so Cytech qualifications are a regular feature in jobs ads to attract the best new talent.

Sourcing, training and retaining good people is a challenge for the cycle trade the world over, but the UK is well ahead of other markets thanks to the Cytech scheme.

To help generate a pool of talent for the future, the ACT is actively promoting Cytech courses to the general public and youth groups, demonstrating that the cycle trade offers a skilled career path.

Nigel Roberts from Trek UK supports Cytech: “All our technical, sales, marketing and even warehouse staff are Cytech trained. We believe it is an essential part of the work they do and enables them to converse confidently with our customers. I always recommend retailers invest in Cytech for the same reasons while also adding credibility to their business from the customer’s perspective.”

In Spring 2009 Cytech will commence a recognition programme for ACT members, linking high profile business promotion with investment in people and skills. To support this initiative ACT / ActSmart has recently launched an online retail learning programme which is free to any Platinum members during 2009.

To find out more about Cytech training and accreditation visit www.actsmart.biz/cycles/
skillsor call ACT/ ActSmart on 08704 288 404.

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