The centre opened on 28 February and is an extension of Rivus’ existing service, maintenance, and repair garage in Leeds. It comprises a classroom style training facility, capable of delivering theory-based learning for up to 16 people, as well as a fully equipped training workshop for practical training and assessment under test conditions.
The Academy’s first batch of technicians commenced the IMI Level 3 in Electrical/Hybrid Vehicle System Repair & Replacement on the opening day.
James Haydon, technical training manager at Rivus, said: “We’ve built a new classroom training facility, had a training workshop fitted out with the necessary tools and equipment, as well as invested time and resource into upskilling our own training team to the required level. The site and all our training content has then been assessed and approved by the IMI and we have now achieved IMI Approval to deliver our own in-house training.”
The Academy has a Toyota Prius and a DAF HGV for technicians to complete their practical learning and assessment, and the workshop is equipped with specialist high voltage tooling and personal protective equipment for safe and compliant electric vehicle (EV) training and assessment. Initially, Rivus will focus on delivering one and two day courses for IMI Levels 1, 2 and 3 in Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Awareness, Routine Maintenance and System Repair and Replacement, as well as the IRTEC Large Commercial Vehicle Inspection licence. The business plans to expand the portfolio of training qualifications available through the Rivus Academy.
The idea for the Rivus Academy came from Victoria Knight, chief executive officer (Interim) in her previous role at Rivus as group HR director.
Knight said: “Developing our in-house talent and providing development opportunities for the Rivus team is paramount to the success of our business and forms a significant part of our strategy to grow our own talent to help overcome the current technician skills gap. At any one time, our technicians need to be multi-skilled and qualified to work on a wide range of vehicle types across HGV, LCV, alternative fuels and refrigerated vehicles because of the complex range of critical feels that we manage for our customers.
“We’ve collaborated fully with the IMI on the design of our training courses and our IMI Approval now means we can be much more flexible and agile. It reduces our costs, and because we are approved to deliver practical and theoretical training ourselves, it means we can take our technician training on the road and deliver on site at our garage locations around the UK, removing the need for our colleagues to travel and be off site. We can now deliver the bespoke training that our technicians need, as well as deliver IMI Approved training courses to other businesses that are struggling to plug the technician skills gap.”
As part of its current programme of colleague learning and development, Rivus has signed up to IMI TechSafe and has technicians based throughout its garage network that are qualified to IMI Level 3 or 4 in in Electric/Hybrid Vehicle System Repair and Replacement. Rivus expects to train more than 500 technicians to the same standards over the next three years.