Training Treatise: Dave Luehr talks training and skills development with I-CAR experts

Toronto, Ontario — Accredited collision repairers are becoming a rare breed these days, but detective Dave Luehr is on the case, tracking down where shops can find new talent and how to refine the skills of the staff they already have.

Luehr was joined in his latest webinar by Tom McFinch and Terry Ticel from I-CAR to talk about new training opportunities from the company, as well as ways that shop owners can engage with students and families who might be considering collision repair as a career path.

With automotive technology changing as rapidly as it has been and training organizations like I-CAR working to keep up, McFinch and Ticel gave a stark reminder to veteran repairers out there that their “20-something” years of experience in the industry is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

McFinch compared technicians who rest on their years of experience to a football team running a playbook from the 70s—it just doesn’t work anymore.

That is why I-CAR is putting emphasis on exposing new and old techs to leading-edge technology, like EV repair, and gearing away from oversaturated markets like restoration. The pair noted a disconnect present between educators and industry in communicating the value of up-to-day training.

I-CAR is offering it’s “Understanding High Voltage Safety” course for free, now until Dec. 31. The course is geared toward collision repairers, however, I-CAR encourages recyclers, towers, first responders and anyone may come in contact with exposed EV batteries to take the course.

McFinch and Ticel also pointed to social media as an effective avenue for shop owners to engage with potential technicians, by posting shop tours, equipment and repair tutorials and generally giving exposure to the reality of a modern bodyshop.

The pair gave kudos to Youtuber BlueCollarKyle, a collision repair technician who uploads first-person perspective videos of collision repair procedures to give an almost literal hands-on view of how the trade is done.

McFinch and Ticel also pointed out that, when it comes down to it, proper training and accreditation is the best safety net in case accident liability issues arise.

“Our training is a lot less expensive than litigation,” said McFinch.

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