The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has reported a 20% increase in the use of its training courses during lockdown so far.
The rise is being attributed to furloughed and other fleet decision-makers using the additional time available to them as an opportunity to improve their skills and qualifications, as well as to increase availability of online content from the organisation’s Training Academy.
Peter Eldridge, director at the AFP, said: “There has been a marked upturn in training in recent weeks, with many people starting our courses, and it is easy to understand why. If you have been furloughed or the current crisis means you have more free time at work, then this is an appropriate moment to upgrade your skills.
“This has coincided with a point in time when recent investment by the AFP means that we have been able to introduce more online content to complement our classroom-based activity, and that has fortunately opened up our courses to a much wider audience during lockdown.”
The AFP was formed in March from the merging of the Association of Fleet Officers (ACFO) and the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM), and its training infrastructure is based on the latter’s programmes.
The AFP/ICFM Introductory Programme is designed for new entrants to the fleet industry and has been available online, but has now been joined by the Intermediate Programme, which is delivered using a choice of online and remote tutor-led modules.
The Advanced Programme is normally only available through a face-to-face tutor-based approach, but a trial is being held to see if a more blended approach including online content is possible, which will conclude in June.
Eldridge said: “The new activity that we have seen has occurred across all levels of expertise and there has also been a marked increase in those already taking courses completing job-based assignments which are part of their qualifications.
“While it is difficult to identify positives for the fleet industry or its professionals in what has happened during the coronavirus crisis, it is pleasing to see that so many people have seized the opportunity to make productive used of their time and enhance their skills and qualifications.”