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Now an HGV technical trainer at GTG Glasgow, Iain King describes his career progression, from young apprentice to teaching the next generation.

Iain King at GTG Training

How did your career start out?

‘I have been a truck and bus technician for 25 years now. I started my apprenticeship with Volvo Truck and Bus Scotland, then worked for various types of businesses, from haulage contractors to bus operators. Before starting with GTG, I ran my own business carrying out maintenance and repairs on various types of vehicles across Scotland and Northern England.

‘It came to the point where I was looking for a change in direction and noticed a role at GTG. I have always enjoyed working with apprentices in my previous roles, so I felt that this one would suit me really well.’

What do you enjoy most about your role?

‘I’ve been at GTG for almost five years, and there’s lots to enjoy about the job. It’s rewarding to see the students complete their qualification and for them to thank you for what you have taught them. No two days are the same; it can vary from subject or course you are teaching or what group you have. You can face a variety of challenges in this job, from planning and preparation, to alternating your teaching techniques depending on the profile of the students.

‘You return home at the end of the day with the satisfaction that your class has completed a unit successfully.’

Can you tell us a bit about what your job involves?

‘The job as technical trainer requires you to teach the apprenticeship programme to students from our HGV or bus and coach courses. The programme requires you to teach the basic principles of vehicle components and systems, before moving on to electrical and mechanical diagnostics.

We also carry out industry accreditations, including IRTEC, where candidates complete practical assessments depending on which route they’re taking. At GTG, we also deliver other courses on vehicle inspections, high voltage and manufacturer-specific training.’

What are the benefits of being an HGV trainer at GTG?

‘There are various benefits you enjoy, both professionally and personally.

‘Professionally, you can develop your own knowledge with access to tools to help you research different areas, as you teach varied subjects and courses to candidates over a wide age range. Personally, I enjoy the good work-life balance, seeing more of my family because I don’t work shifts.’

What does a typical day look like in the HGV trainer role?

‘You start your day with looking at what you will be teaching that day, then you will sort out your teaching materials or prepare the workshop. Once your group arrives, you complete the register and then carry on with planning for the day. You need to find a good balance between in-classroom teaching and workshop activities, which help keep the group engaged. Once the group has finished you record what has been carried out that day, tidy up, and start your preparation for the following day.’

What do you enjoy about working at GTG?

‘At GTG there’s a good team atmosphere, and all the staff have been helpful since day one. GTG also gives you the platform to develop by offering different training opportunities which allow you to progress within this profession. There are also lots of opportunities for career progression here.’

What advice would you give to someone who would like to become an HGV technical trainer?

‘I would highly recommend this job to anyone who has previously enjoyed helping apprentices or work colleagues develop. At first, the job can take you out of your comfort zone, but once you’ve settled in you will quickly see how rewarding the job can be, such as  helping a student pass a test who has struggled previously, or the warm handshake a student gives you when they’ve completed their qualification and are heading out to be a fully qualified mechanic.’

You transitioned from being a technician to a trainer - what did that involve?

‘As a new trainer, you shadow an experienced staff member for usually 6-8 weeks, and during that period you will be shown the role, as well as have opportunities to take a class yourself with support from a colleague. It’s all about taking your knowledge and experience as a technician into the classroom with you.’

You mentioned that GTG is great for progression and training opportunities... what progression and training opportunities have you enjoyed?

‘In my experience, I progressed quite quickly to become a team leader and other colleagues have also been promoted since I have joined GTG, so it’s clearly a company willing to promote from within and offer its employees progression opportunities.

‘Personally, I have had lots of training, from the basic Train the Trainer course to currently working towards a Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training. I have gained knowledge from studying for assessors’ awards and have achieved various accreditations including heavy vehicle and high-voltage training.

‘GTG, like all companies, needs to move with the fast pace of industry developments, so that we can offer customers the most up-to-date training; to achieve this, the trainers themselves must have this knowledge, whether it’s gained through CPD or through formal training.’

Instead in a career with GTG? Find our job vacancies here.