Simon Hunt, commercial and services director at National Windscreens, recently spoke with Modern Insurance Magazine about talent, opportunities and the increasing influence of ADAS in windscreen repair and replacement.
How are you nurturing Next Gen talent within National Windscreens to guide and influence the workforce of the future?
Our culture is firmly based on five cornerstones; simplify, empower, smarter, caring and together. National Windscreens has a learning culture that encourages our staff to increase their knowledge, and we appreciate that digital technology plays an important part of blended learning in education. We provide our employees with training and information in an easy-to-understand style using an online learning system.
The data from the Deloitte survey reveals the priorities of Gen Z. It showed that sustainability is crucial when considering an employer. In the survey, 49% of the respondents stated they chose their career path and potential employers based on the values and ethics of the organisation. Our Sustainability Report shows the environmental transparency needed to attract environmentally conscious young people to join National Windscreens.
The team work in a friendly and engaging setting which helps to create a skilled and professional service for the customer. The technicians begin their career at our dedicated fitting, calibration and training site, which is a perfect environment for specialist ongoing training. Here, they learn the techniques and skills that lead towards qualifications in Automotive Glazing to NVQ level 2 and 3.
What opportunities exist for entry level employees within National Windscreens?
We offer a comprehensive learning journey for new starters in the business. The pipeline for progression within National Windscreens is well established. All 14 of our Regional Operations Managers (ROM) were previously management of fitting centres and 70% started their career as windscreen technicians.
A dedicated training team and knowledgeable mentors work with the new starters to give the practical experience required to begin a career in the repairing and replacing of automotive glazing. However, we know there is no substitute for roadside experience so when the technicians complete the training, they work alongside an experienced colleague in branch or at the roadside.
What new technologies exist within your area of the market that are revolutionising your processes and operations?
The mainstream adoption of ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) technology is having a dramatic impact on how windscreens are fixed and replaced. ADAS are developed to automate, adapt, and enhance vehicle technology for improved safety and driving. The shift towards autonomous driving is changing the way that repairs are conducted, and the calibration equipment is constantly evolving with new features being added to vehicles.
ADAS and vehicle complexity is changing at a fast pace. An increasing number of manufacturers are using ‘over-the-air’ systems to allow calibration equipment to access the vehicles ECU. We work continuously to educate, update, and train our staff on the developing legislation, technology and standards regarding glass replacement and calibration equipment.
Our trainee technicians establish their understanding through the initial training process. Our training team has created a programme to ensure that we can deliver best-in-class service when working on ADAS related jobs. The technicians then complete an ADAS-specific NVQ is as a follow-on qualification. Every aspect of training is designed to ensure our technicians have the knowledge to provide the highest level of customer service in the sector.