Hino South Africa’s inaugural Hino Learnership Programme has received resounding support from enthusiastic learners. The year-long programme has been tailored to provide comprehensive training for sales staff at dealerships, with a total of 12 students taking part in the first course.

They undergo a week’s intensive theoretical and practical training each month and are then required to complete a tutorial on the subjects covered. The rest of each month is spent at work at their dealerships.

“The major focus is on sales, marketing knowledge and skills, though the course also includes visits to the Hino manufacturing facility in Prospecton as well as technical workshops. The idea is to get learners to understand the full scope of the environment in which they are working,” explains Ernie Trautmann, Vice President of Hino South Africa.

He says practical driver training will form another aspect of the course. “I am a big supporter of driver training not only for road safety benefits, but also for the fact that it contributes to the durability of the vehicle.”

The programme is registered with merSETA and students will receive certificates when they graduate at the end of the year. They will then be able to continue their studies through a diploma course offered by Unisa.

The course was developed by lecturer Philip Brandt – who has a background in fleet management – in conjunction with a specialist training consultancy.

“There is a lot of roleplay in the course with the ultimate objective of training the students to be in a positon to recommend the correct truck for a particular operation while also knowing how to calculate a finance package that will suit the customer’s business model,” he says.

“Another of the objectives is to have each student become an ambassador for the Hino brand – a person trusted by customers.”