Engineer Academy

Our people are our most valuable asset so it’s essential that we look after them. One of the more fundamental needs as a human is personal development; the progression year on year in learning, understanding & intellectual evolution.

For many years we have encouraged and assisted our people advance their career, whether that be a traditional vertical route (say from apprentice to fully qualified), or in some case perhaps a more unorthodox diagonal where they end up in a position better suited to their talents.

Over the years we have established various training routes and feeder programs to develop our teams. However lockdown presented challenges to teaching and mentoring. Yes we were able to hold training or meetings via video conferencing but it was the more informal learning that suffered; the ability to turn to a colleague for some quick advice is somewhat lost whilst working remotely. We decided therefore, to establish a framework to guide people along their journey, allowing them to see clear targets or stages of the process and be aware of what reaching those goals entails. This involved bringing some siloed training processes together from start to finish of the engineering operation. The result is our Engineer Academy, encompassing & enhancing all of our developed training and mentoring techniques and sessions, collated into a comprehensive training program.

A typical engineering report contains a significant amount of data and represents a few different skills such as damage estimation, repair & build methods, costing repairs, valuing the car, considering whether it is physically, safely & financially a repairable proposition, is it roadworthy, could temporary repairs reduce costs. Repairable cars may require negotiations with the body-shop, dealing with uncovered supplementary damage, parts delays etc, whereas total loss cars need valuing accurately, pre-accident values agreed with policy-holders, salvage correctly categorising & disposing. That’s just a Vehicle Damage Assessment Report (VDAR); there are far more complicated, forensic ones further down the line.

Sounds a little daunting but we have a clear methodology now to take a relative novice to fully qualified engineer in just a few years, with support and training off-shoots along the way. This structure has also allowed us to integrate training in the many examples of contemporaneous technology, such as hybrid, hydrogen and electric powered vehicles together with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and modern construction materials.

Our Students

The academy has been formed by Managing Director Nik Ellis, Head of Automotive Lee Baty and Engineering Manager, Rik Green bringing several decades of industry background to the table. Learning from their own experiences, they have devised the academy to consider the needs of insurers, body-shops / repairers, hire car & accident management companies in mind but also the needs to the end user, the policy holder to ensure that an excellent customer experience is embedded into the engineer’s psyche.

Nik said “We’re really proud of what we’ve created here. Whilst there are some individual courses out there, nobody does an engineering training process, from start to finish, incorporating not just the technical aspects but the multitude of branches that connect with the industry.” Lee added “we’ve taken the many different training processes under the engineering banner & combined them to be bespoke to vehicle assessing. Whilst a more formal framework, it still allows for an organic approach to suit the student. The modular nature allows for future training modules to be included as new technology & training needs develop.”

If you’re interested in pursuing a career within the engineering assessing industry and would like to understand about the opportunities available within Laird, please contact us here.

Download our Academy Brochure

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