Unformatted text preview: National Employer Service
Case Study: BMW (UK) Limited
The NES Case Study Series
This series of case studies is about employers who contract with the National
Employer Service (NES) at the LSC. Researchers at York Consulting LLP gathered the information for the case studies by speaking to senior staff in
each company and trainers, tutors, assessors and employees involved with
NES funded programmes.
Each case study briefly describes the company and the training programme
funded. The focus is on the key challenges the company has faced in relation to the programme and how the company overcame these. In some
instances, the programme itself is a response to challenges facing the
company as a whole.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this
report are those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily
represent QIA’s views. About BMW
BMW is “one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury cars and
motorcycles”. The BMW Group’s investment in the UK economy since 20002007 was in the region of £900 million. The Group employs approximately
8,000 people in the UK motor industry across three main production plants,
component suppliers, sales and marketing, and an additional 11,000
employees through its dealership network.
It offers all opportunities employees
to the encourage practical
personal support, advice development, and aligned training
to the achievement of corporate objectives. BMW. is the only UK car company to
deliver an in-house Apprenticeship programme. There are two Advanced Apprenticeship programmes run from its bespoke BMW Academy, near
Reading: • Service Apprenticeship – NVQ2 and an NVQ Level 3 in Vehicle
Maintenance and Repair; • Parts Apprenticeship – NVQ2 and an NVQ3 in Parts Operation. Challenge:
Challenge: Ensuring the Quality of Service through Training
BMW is a very image conscious company and recognises that the quality of
the service delivered by its dealerships is integral to maintaining and
enhancing the BMW brand.
BMW wants to ensure that it delivers the highest quality training to meet the
needs of the business and provide a more rounded learning experience for
employees. Response: InIn-house delivery of Apprenticeship programme
BMW moved from programme delivery by colleges to in-house delivery. This
ensured that BMW could control the delivery of the training to ensure it was
of the quality it required. The rationale for developing the in-house programme was the ability to embed the company culture, and ensure that
trainees were trained in the most up-to-date technologies and practices.
Feedback from dealerships indicated that colleges were good at delivering
qualifications, but were not able to embed the company culture and were not
flexible enough to keep up-to-date with technology and changes in practice.
The Academy is a £17 million investment and includes thirty-two workshop
bays and ten training rooms all with IT and audiovisual equipment. In addition, there are a further 12 training rooms and ten syndicate rooms all
with projectors, DVD/CD and wireless LAN connections. The Apprenticeship
programme is not the only training delivered at the Academy – over 200
courses are delivered on site. “I much preferred the intense learning at the Academy, rather than day
release to go to College.” Apprentice
“The knowledge of the trainers is phenomenal and we’re always working with
the very latest technology.” Apprentice Challenge: Maximising TakeTake-Up by Minimising
Minimising Application Stress
Many of the apprentices participating on the scheme are not direct BMW
employees; rather they are employees of franchise BMW dealerships. These
dealerships are independent operations and are not obliged to send their
service engineers on the BMW programme.
Therefore, it is important that the process of application is accessible to
potential candidates and that participation is made as uncomplicated as
possible. Response: Online Recruitment
The first stage of recruitment involves the completion of a short online
application form that takes around 15 minutes to complete. During the initial application process prospective employees select a dealership in their
locality where they would like to undertake the Apprenticeship. BMW is keen
that apprentices choose local dealerships, assuming the dealership requires
more staff, to minimise travel stress. Challenge: Meeting Changing Needs
BMW acknowledged that dealerships have constantly changing requirements
for new recruits and an annual recruitment programme would not be flexible
enough to meet the needs of dealerships. Response: Rolling Apprenticeship programme
The development of a rolling programme with multiple admissions points
provides the flexibility required by dealerships whose staff needs may
change on a month-to-month basis. For the Service Apprenticeship, there
are seven entry points during the year and three entry points for the Parts
Apprenticeship. Challenge: Effective Use of the Requirements of Government Programmes
Government funded programmes often require significant amounts of
monitoring and paperwork.
commercial businesses. This can place a considerable burden on Response:
Response: Aligning requirements of government programmes with business
Some of the data collection can be turned to the benefit of the business. For
example, there is crossover between the data required by the Qualifications
and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and data BMW needs for its own internal
European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) programme.
Government funding has prompted BMW to tackle some of the wider issues
such as gender and minority participation that they would not otherwise have
addressed, but for which there are potentially positive business outcomes.
For example, it is recognised that participation levels in the motor trade
among British Asians is low. As a result, BMW is looking at actively engaging
with such groups to improve recruitment and retention. Challenge: Developing Accessible Resources
In addition to the need for minimising the stress of application for potential
learners, BMW also recognised the need for accessible resources. Response: Use of Online Learning Resources
To provide a tailored learning experience for apprentices a bespoke online
learning tool has been developed.
All employees use an online Learning Management System (LMS) from the
BMW intranet that provides learning resources, technical manuals and
support resources. The LMS system allows BMW to provide bespoke learning
according to the course and stage of the Apprenticeship. Challenge: Balancing Online and FaceFace-ToTo-Face Learning
The BMW Apprenticeship programme is not run as a profit centre, although
there is an objective to make the Academy an efficient centre that provides
training in an efficient and effective manner. A recent British Educational Communication and Technology Agency (BECTA) report noted that the Return
on Investment for BMW is measured in part by the “reduced contact time in the training centre”. However, BMW acknowledges that distance learning is not necessarily the
most cost effective way of training apprentices and it was recognises that
sometimes “people float away from distance learning”. Response: Increasing Contact Time
BMW has re-launched its Parts Apprenticeship so that each online module is
now accompanied by a face-to-face learning module at the BMW academy.
BMW recognised that its Parts apprentices required more face-to-face
learning time, so the contact time was increased from 21 days per annum to
40 days per annum. Challenge: Maintaining Quality Across a Diverse Group
Delivering an Apprenticeship programme across a diverse range of 156
dealerships is challenging. In particular there is a need for a mechanism to
assess mentors as well as apprentices. The need to resolve such issues is
regarded as “pivotal” to the delivery of BMW’s Apprenticeship programme. Response: Use of Field Based Career Programmes Advisors
BMW uses a team of five field advisors to monitor and assess the delivery of
the workplace elements of the NVQ. All field advisors are trained NVQ assessors and are responsible for the delivery of NVQ targets.
Career Programme Advisors visit each dealership on a 12 weekly basis, where
they assess the mentors’ and apprentices’ progress and resolve any issues
raised by the dealership management. ...
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