Bridging the gap between schools & shops: Advice
ASE Education Foundation’s George Arrants discusses why students are losing interest in the industry, struggles of being a new technician, and the importance of a successful mentorship program.
From Aftermarket Matters
MOUNT HOREB, Wis. — In a recent episode of WrenchWay’s “Beyond the Wrench with Jay Goninen,” ASE Education Foundation Vice President George Arrants discusses why students are losing interest in the industry, the struggles of being a new technician, and the importance of a successful mentorship program.
The full episode can be viewed here. The following are highlights and takeaways from the podcast:
Why Students are Losing Interest in the Industry
- Forty-two percent of students entering the industry leave the industry within the first two years.
- If students get involved in the industry early, they are more likely to stay in the industry long term.
- We’re not lacking interest in the industry. The loyalty is there, but shops need to show they’re committed to entry-level techs.
- Thirty percent of technicians said the reason they took one automotive course and didn’t decide to take the next level course is because they didn’t see a defined career path in the industry.
Struggles of the Industry
- Not all shops want to hire an entry-level technician due to the lack of skills and training that comes with it.
- Technicians aren’t getting the proper training/support they need when starting in the industry — leaving them feeling lost and eventually losing interest in the industry.
- Employee retention is huge. The cost to constantly hire new employees is much more expensive than keeping the ones you have.
- The industry needs to remove the mentality that everyone is replaceable and if it doesn’t work out then you just hire someone new.
- It’s important to let technicians work and learn at a pace that allows them to be successful.
- As a manager, if you expect 100 percent from your technicians, then you have to give 100 percent back.
How to Run a Successful Mentorship Program
- If you’re going to have a mentorship program, make sure mentors are being compensated for the job they’re doing.
- Some people have the skills to be a good leader, but are less interested in raising their hand. However, if they see someone else doing it they’ll believe they can do it, too.
- Your best technician won’t necessarily be your best mentor. You want someone who has people skills and has been in the industry for a while.
- Recognize the hard work your mentors are doing for technicians and what they are doing for your shop.
- The main goal of a mentor should be to build confidence in the young technicians who are new to the industry.
Generational Differences Within the Industry
- Baby boomers live to work, while millennials work to live.
- Millennials want more than just a paycheck from their job — they need fulfillment.
- Every technician learns at a different rate in a different way, and it’s important to recognize that.
- Millennials are looking for a job where they can be a part of a family and be a part of something bigger.