Joey Ryan, manager at LC Tyres in Navan is the first to graduate from the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) Tyre Technician Programme.
Joey started the programme in May of this year and has now completed all of the modules. Other participants will be completing the course early next year.
Joey Ryan, manager, LC Tyres Ltd.
On receiving his overall certificate Joey commented: “ I think it is really great that the ITIA are running this course as it means that not only are we trained to make sure our customers are safe but we are keeping ourselves safe, which is really important.”
This programme is the first of its kind, dedicated to providing a career path for tyre fitters. It is an exciting opportunity for both employers and employees as it improves the skills of tyre technicians by providing them with a nationally recognised licence, designed to demonstrate their competency and it helps the employer to develop a career path for technicians and also expand the range of services it can offer to clients.
With the advancement of new technologies in the motor industry it is now crucial that those fitting tyres are expert and con dent in what they are doing; understanding TPMS systems, wheel alignment and tyre repair.
L to R: Sue O’Neill, CEO, ITIA, Joey Ryan, manager LC Tyres Ltd., Hugh Brady, Techplus
Joey Ryan added: “The course gave me con dence in all aspects of TPMS and new areas of wheel alignment and following training on tyre repair with a mushroom patch, I am adopting this as standard practice in LC Tyres. We can stand over quality work and we know that our customers will be safe when they drive away.”
Hugh Brady of Techplus worked with the ITIA and the Athlone Training Centre to design and develop the programme materials. Speaking at the end of the first course he said: “I am really delighted to see this all coming to fruition, it has been a long time passion of mine to develop standards in the tyre industry and to recognise that being a tyre technician is a skilled profession. What’s great about this programme is that as it is modular, we will be able to develop it further as newer technologies come on stream, indeed we are already looking at a module for tyre fitting on electric vehicles.”
ITIA CEO Sue O’Neill added: “This pilot programme has taken a lot of work to get off the ground and now that we have completed the first programme we have been able to get feedback from all the participants, which is helping us to shape the next programme and it is great to see technicians like Joey so passionate about making sure his team are doing things right. I am happy to say feedback overall, so far, has been very positive. Over the course of the eight weeks we had a mix of classroom and practical training and we also had input from industry experts which really enhanced the training experience.”
Modules on the course covered, manual handling; safety in the workplace; tyre fitting and repair; wheel alignment; TPMS and the REACT training programme which is licenced by NTDA in the UK. Industry presentations were delivered by Alan Bithell, Director of the Retread Manufacturing Association, Ben Hartopp, Operations Manager, Tyresure, a leading supplier of TPMS products and Con Culhane, MD of Apaseal Ireland. Participants also had a presentation from Repak ELT on understanding Ireland’s waste management legislation and also latest developments in tyre recycling.
LC Tyres team congratulating manager, Joey Ryan
The Athlone Training Centre which is part of the Longford Westmeath Education Training Board (LWETB) worked tirelessly with the ITIA to understand the requirements of the industry and delivered an excellent programme and indeed learned plenty from the participants. The facility in Athlone is ideal for offering this training as it has a fully equipped motor area, excellent training classrooms, conference facilities and excellent canteen services.
The centre recently hosted an ITIA Regional Meeting where all guests were given a tour of the premises and all were really impressed with what was on offer.
The programme receives part funding from Skills to Advance, which is a new policy framework supporting working lives and enterprise growth in Ireland from Solas and this allows the ITIA to deliver the programme at a heavily discounted cost.
Looking forward Sue O’Neill said: “We are now planning the next course and we will be publicising this to members soon and indeed we have a list of those wanting to take the next course already. We plan to tighten up on the timings so that we can hopefully run the course over less days which will help employers as it can be difficult to release staff, but it is a balance, if you want your staff trained you have to invest time in doing that.”
She added: “I am also delighted that Athlone Training Centre is keen to work with us to develop a programme for people entering the labour market for the first time, people changing career and early school leavers. This will be a great source of talent for our members who are struggling to attract and retain staff.”
She concluded: “Graduates from a programme such as this will have a base knowledge of tyre fitting and repair and more importantly will have an understanding of what can be achieved in a career in the motor industry.”