A Day in the Life of Motus People - DAF Training Co-Ordinator
Following our 'Day in the Life of Motus People' series, we chat to Paul Bolton to find out what a typical day looks like as a DAF Training Co-Ordinator and his highlights during his time at Motus Commercials.
Hi, my name is Paul Bolton, and I’m the Group DAF Training Co-Ordinator for Motus Commercials
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been within the trucking industry for nearly 27 years, and within the DAF Dealer Network for the last 21 years. I started my career as a technician on the shop floor, then progressed to supervisor and workshop controller. I have always wanted to help those around me, initially I looked after apprentices as a mentor which is something I enjoyed doing. From there, DAF decided to change their training plan requirements and a new opportunity arose for me to transition into a Training Co-Ordinators position. At the time, I looked after four dealerships in my local area: Manchester, Huddersfield, Oldham, and Barnsley. I was responsible initially for just technicians and their training plans ensuring they were booked on the correct training courses and assisting if they needed extra help. This then grew further, and I was then responsible for parts advisors, sales executives and service advisors training and eventually all management training too. Despite this, I have always kept my own training up to date, I am a Level 4 Master Technician and in 2015/16 became a finalist in the DAF UK Technician of the Year competition.
When Motus rebranded, I was responsible for the North West region, however during this past year most things have been over the phone as there has been virtually no travel. As most of the world is now, we became more reliant on phone calls and the internet to have our meetings and arrange online training. In October 2020, Motus Commercials centralised all DAF training. Now I look after all technicians at all 32 sites, whilst still maintaining all training responsibilities from my previous sites in the north and north west.
What are your main responsibilities?
My main responsibilities are to ensure that everyone who wants to be trained or is put forward for training receives the appropriate learning and receives the qualification they deserve. As part of this, I communicate with service managers and their technicians across our 32 sites. Overall, my main responsibility is planning! Our technicians are a vital part of the business, it’s important that they receive the most up to date training, although this can come with challenges as the workshops are busy with customer vehicles it is essential to ensure the workshops are not short-staffed as a consequence. I have to bear in mind the varying shift patterns, holiday allowances and any other work disruptions.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love everything, I love the diversity and the pressure!
It’s a definitely a challenge as over recent years things have gone in many different directions. Although, most of all I really enjoy the technical training as that’s where I started out. Every now and then I don’t mind mucking in and throwing some overalls on and getting into the workshop. I think it’s important to get involved and help out wherever possible.
Do you have any highlights from your time at Motus?
I would regard every day as a highlight! However, we recently achieved a prestigious award from DAF at our Manchester dealership; 2019 Technical Training Dealer of the Year Award. DAF announced there would be a new approach to all their technical training. The DAF product is constantly improving and becoming more sophisticated; therefore, it is important to ensure our technicians are also skilled enough especially as Motus is a large main dealer.
The courses have changed in-line with the digital age, we created a dedicated training room for trainees to be able to use that were free from distractions and equipped with the materials for them to complete their online training. This also included a mentor, something that everyone undertaking something new has at Motus. The new scheme has undoubtably been a success, further embellished after receiving this award. It provided a great boost not only to myself but the rest of the team.
Why do you like working for Motus?
I like the challenge and the variety, not being stuck doing the same thing. I enjoy meeting (when covid wasn’t a thing) and speaking to different people. I am always learning, I try to learn something new no matter how small every day.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Rugby union is a passion of mine, I used to play in my youth but then as time moved on, I gave it up. I have two children and my eldest wanted to play rugby. This was his suggestion not mine, he ended up going to local rugby practice with a friend at the opposition team to the one I played for. As an enthusiastic dad on the side-lines, I ended up getting roped in to help with a few training sessions. Suddenly it snow-balled and I ended up completing my rugby coaching qualifications. I would coach and he would train twice a week, and we would go up and down the country to matches. I realised I enjoyed helping people and loved to see their reaction once training was complete. I guess this also applies to my work too!