Fleet News

Career development: Stepping up the ladder

BALANCING professional and career development with a busy job and a life outside work makes training a tough task for even the most committed executive.

Yet anyone working for a leasing or rental company in the UK will know it is an ever-changing industry, where keeping up-to-date with new legislation, pricing, taxation and environmental concerns that affect the market can prove a very challenging task.

For this reason the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) backs a professional development programme which is aimed at a range of people from newcomers to the business to industry stalwarts, with the courses run at Nottingham Business School.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Provide an integrated and formally recognised personal education and management development programme which offers employees at every level the opportunity to develop themselves professionally
  • Learn the technical, professional and management skills that will enable participants to become more effective players and leaders
  • Attract and retain quality individuals and help safeguard the future prosperity of member organisations
  • Examine industry developments and encourage participants to apply what they have learned to their own business
  • Reinforce industry standards and best practice.

    BVRLA head of member services, Nora Leggett, said the most popular course studied is the certificate in management (automotive industries).

    Modules studied as part of this particular course include managing finance, managing people, personal effectiveness, the managerial task and vehicle rental and leasing industries.

    Other courses that form part of the programme include introduction to rental and leasing industries, foundations of management, a diploma in management studies, master of business administration and MSc in strategic leadership.

    The courses range from six to 36 months in duration and are distance learning, although students are expected to attend a certain number of modules at Nottingham Business School. They last for two days and are held on a Friday and Saturday.

    Leggett said: 'This means that the employer gives a day and the student gives another. It shows the willingness of the student and means it is not too inconvenient for the employer to have a staff member out of the office for too long.'

    The BVRLA says that such a broad range of courses allow people of all abilities to take part. One student who has completed and passed his certificate of management and will now go on to study for a diploma is Gordon Bloom, managing director of Swiss Cottage-based United Rent A Car. Bloom, who has worked in the rental industry for about 20 years, said: 'It is very easy for people in my position to think they know all about the industry and that they won't learn anything new but that couldn't be further from the truth.

    'I admit I was apprehensive at first about studying for the certificate but I have learned so much - and it gives you a real sense of achievement. I was attending modules on the Friday and Saturday and then putting into practice what I had learned in my own company on the Monday.'

    He admitted it was difficult juggling the pressures of working life with studying and said anyone taking part must be 100% committed.

    Another student currently going through the programme is Zenith Vehicle Contracts' major account manager Tony Greig. He said: 'It is very difficult, very challenging but interesting at the same time. This is a complex industry and I think it is important to get other viewpoints on the changes that are happening.'

    Greig said he was quite prepared to give up a number of Saturdays throughout the course - but admitted he was a little sick that one took place last weekend when England played Denmark in the World Cup.

  • For details of the programme's introductory session in Nottingham on Tuesday, July 2, call Nora Leggett at the BVRLA on 01494 545713.
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