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China auto visit – blog post

Published on: 19/04/2017 (10:50AM)

Have you ever wondered what goes on during Emtec’s automotive training visits to China? The visits are a good opportunity to plan reciprocal training visits, carry out Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) quality assessment, and share best practice. Here, Stephen Turner, Emtec Sector Development Manager (Automotive) and IMI International Regional Quality Assurer, gives us an insight into his latest business trip this spring. He spent 13 days in China, starting in Beijing.

Action stations

I travelled down to London Heathrow airport in plenty of time for my late afternoon flight to Beijing. After a large cappuccino I had a quick review of the schedule for the next couple of weeks, which as always, was pretty full!  I travel to China many times a year, often there is a flight delay, and today was no exception.

Beijing business

After the 10-hour flight (which actually arrived early due to a good tail wind) I landed in China’s capital city mid-morning and was ready to stretch my legs. I was picked up by IMI assessor Mr Liping Yang and on the way to the hotel we listened to ‘Scarborough Fair’ on the car MP3 player as he likes Western music and sings with pretty good English, although he doesn’t normally speak the language. His English is about as good as my Chinese! I checked into my hotel for the next two days and did some final planning for the forthcoming IMI external verifier visit. 

Visiting Beijing Polytechnic

Over the next two days I carried out the visit, which went well as staff at Beijing Polytechnic work in a very methodical and organised way. Once again it was a privilege to meet new automotive students there, and carry out an interactive question and answer session with them about IMI, Emtec and the motor industry. The college are exploring the option of IMI qualifications for their staff and also looking into IMI electric vehicle qualifications.

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At Beijing Polytechnic

Onward to Wuhan

The next day was Sunday, but no time to rest! China is a big place so opportunities to travel must be taken to keep the schedule on track. I was making my way to Beijing airport well before dawn to meet Long Sun, Emtec’s Business Manager in China. We then travelled together to Wuhan in Hubei province, to explore new business opportunities with both potential and existing partner colleges.

We stayed for 2 days in Wuhan before travelling to Huanggang to spend 5 days with Huanggang Polytechnic College (HPC), our partners since 2012. The external verifier visit ran smoothly and I had the pleasure of presenting HPC staff member Mr Cheng with his IMI Internal Verifier certificate. We also went to Audi and Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the afternoon to meet HPC students employed there or on work placements. I was pleased to hear from the students that IMI courses had helped them greatly and also to hear that the dealers were impressed with the quality of the students and wanted more in future.

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Presenting Mr Cheng with his certificate

Continuing to Chengdu

Another Sunday travel day, this time by bullet train to Wuhan then by air to our next stop at Chengdu Industrial Vocational College CIVTC, our partner of six years. It was great to catch up with colleagues, carry out my inspection and get to know current students through another Q & A. They were keen to learn more about IMI and the industry and they all worked really well together. I was very impressed with the layout of the student portfolios in place here as part of my inspection. Building on my previous visits, we discussed CIVTC staff undertaking IMI Level 2 and then Level 3 qualifications. During the visit it was great to present an IMI Assessor Certificate to staff member Junbo Xiang who attended assessor training in the UK last year.

To sum up

On yet another long flight home to the UK I had a bit of time to reflect on my visit. Emtec has been building a presence in China over the past ten years, and I’ve been lucky enough to train more than 200 delegates both here at our Ruddington Centre in Nottingham and across China over the past 4 years.

I never get tired of seeing colleagues from Chinese colleges, who we have trained in the UK, back in their own professional environment imparting the IMI knowledge and skills to their students. It’s exciting to see the market in China for UK industry and international qualifications opening up even more, and to get the opportunity to share best practice.