Fleet News

Experts stress need for better understanding of the fleet role

LEADING industry figures have spoken out about the need for fleet decision-makers to be given proper training if they are to be effective in their roles.

Understanding issues such as changes to company car and van taxation, tax cuts for drivers using the cleanest cars, legislation on health and safety and effective management of drivers is impossible without training.

Last month, automotive industry expert Garel Rhys, of Cardiff Business School, backed the need for effective training of fleet decision-makers. He said: 'Challenges facing the industry dictate that fleets need to be run by someone at director level who is properly trained. There are a lot of costs involved and fleets are a lifeline to business, so it is vitally important.

'Woe betide the company which finds itself in the dock over a criminal or a civil matter and has no defence because the fleet manager was not properly trained to do their job.'

Tom Madden, chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management, added: 'On many occasions, through no fault of their own, workers are not trained for the job, which has moved on greatly and is now more of a mobility manager's role. In many cases, management prevent such training because it takes that individual out of the office and away from their duties.

'However, a properly trained fleet manager can benefit a company and save it a lot of money every year.'

And Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, added: 'Looking at the industry, there are about 20,000 people who should have some kind of formal structured training, either for one day or more long-term training. But in the industry there seem to be less than 300 people trained a year – that is less than 1.2% of the market.'

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