The trio's support came at Thursday's Institute of Car Fleet Management fifth annual national members' conference where the RAC announced an increased financial commitment to its fleet manager training Scholarship Awards Scheme. Farmer, who spoke about the importance of businesses investing in people, has pledged to enrol the company's fleet chief on an ICFM course.
McAllister told the Ford-sponsored conference: 'The skills and professionalism to operate within our industry should be valued much more closely. Fleet managers manage the second largest overhead in a company after payroll and are a major influence on a company's costs. As a result we need to develop fleet managers' skills and training and recognise that training with formal qualifications which build self-confidence and inspire confidence from other other people. Qualified and well trained people are vital.'
Coward, an advocate of the importance of apprenticeships, said: 'The ICFM is excellent. It is vital to have proper training with nationally recognised qualifications at the end of courses.'
Despite powerful backing for the training organisation and calls from ICFM counsel member Roger Glenwright, group fleet manager of Siemens Group Services, for fleet managers to 'get off your backsides and do something about your profession, your job and your professional standing in your company', there is widespread concern that less than 100 people out of the ICFM's near-800 strong membership are actively on courses.