BMW of North America will next week become the first premium automotive manufacturer to start training technicians on a US military base, according to partner Universal Technical Institute.
The new BMW MSTEP (Military Service Technician Education Program) course on the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California is intended for military personnel about to re-enter civilian life.
“The skill set these men and women will bring to our dealerships is invaluable,” said Bernard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW of North America. “Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialised in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career.”
The 16-week technical education programme features training in diagnostic paths, service technologies and technical aspects unique to BMW.
On graduation, the carmaker will assist the new technicians with employment at authorised US dealers. There are currently more than 14,000 BMW mechanics across the network and more are needed every year, especially those trained by the company itself, BMW said.
Drawing attention to the skills shortage, the German company added: “With nearly five million BMW Group vehicles on the road in the US and access to skilled technicians still limited, BMW has invested in several initiatives designed to engage, attract and find technicians for its network.”
Universal Technical Institute, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides technical training for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. It has 12 campuses across the US.