Picture of some of the apprentices on the John Deere scheme

John Deere firsts for apprentice training

Published:  16 December, 2016

The first female and the forestry technician have been registered in the latest intake for John Deere’s apprenticeship scheme.

The scheme, managed by training provider ProVQ, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and this year 34 apprentices have signed up to begin work-based training in the Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes.

Among them is Zoe Parker, from the dealer Ben Burgess Coates, who will be on the Ag Tech course, and forestry apprentice Matthew McPherson of John Deere Forestry in Carlisle.

The apprentices, their families and sponsoring dealers attended an induction day at John Deere’s Langar headquarters and were given a tour of the branch and a ride-and-drive session with the latest Gator utility vehicles.

They also visited the new John Deere Apprentice Training Centre at nearby Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire. This is the British agriculture and turf industry’s first and only purpose-built apprentice training facility, designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices.

In addition, the dealers took part in an employer’s workshop, which provided an overview of developments to the scheme for 2017 and what will be required in terms of apprentice mentoring, support and career opportunities. This is in line with plans for the new Government-led apprenticeship framework that has recently been announced, which aims to attract 3 million starters by 2020.

John Deere’s apprenticeship scheme was the first land-based agricultural and turf machinery programme to deliver training in the workplace, at the sponsoring dealership, with assessment and guidance from ProVQ’s team of expert assessors. Additional block release training takes place at the new Apprentice Training Centre.

The three-year Ag and Turf Tech apprenticeships lead to IMI Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering. Each year group trains at the centre for eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks, with some days spent at Langar when working with larger machines such as combines and self-propelled forage harvesters.

The two-year Parts Tech apprenticeship, leading to a Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Parts Competence, is mostly work-based at the sponsoring dealer, with four weeks of training taking place at Langar.

Picture of all the apprentices in the 2016 intake of the John Deere scheme

Graduating apprentices can then complete three free courses to gain the John Deere Diploma and start their adult training at the John Deere University (JDU), using the knowledge and skills gained from their initial one, two or three-year apprenticeship. After additional training and experience, they can ultimately go on to achieve the highest possible LTA4 Master Technician accreditation.

Ag Tech was the first such scheme to be introduced in the UK and won a National Training Award at the end of 1997, the only one ever made to an agricultural machinery apprenticeship programme. Since the first programme started in 1992, more than 600 apprentices have graduated through all the training programmes and been employed in the company’s nationwide dealer network.

This year’s intake includes the following apprentices (in alphabetical order by programme) and their sponsoring dealers:

Ag Tech:
Lewis Aitchison, RBM Agricultural, Brigg; Billy Anderson, J & S Montgomery, Beith; Ryan Bird, P Tuckwell, Dunmow; Louis Cooper, Ben Burgess & Co, Beeston; Corey Dennis, Smallridge Bros, Holsworthy; Harrison Dickens-Smith, Sharmans Agricultural, Pytchley; Harry Donaldson, Thomas Sherriff & Co, Haddington; Ryan Dymott, Tallis Amos Group, Evesham; Callum Floyd, Smallridge Bros, Callington; Edward Green & Jake Wagstaff, P Tuckwell, Maulden; Luke Haggarty, R Hunt, Tilshead; Jake Hillier, R Hunt, Chilbolton; Tom Hunter, Rea Valley Tractors, Sudbury; Sam Johns, Cornwall Farm Machinery, Penzance; Adam Leckenby, RBM Agricultural, Malton; John Mackay & Tom Wagg, Ben Burgess & Co, Norwich; Matthew McPherson, John Deere Forestry, Carlisle; Harry North, Sharmans Agricultural, Grantham; Zoe Parker, Ben Burgess & Co, Coates; Fraser Paton, HRN Tractors, Turriff; Sam Prager, P Tuckwell, Ardleigh; Sean Rickwood, Ben Burgess & Co, Newmarket; William Smith, Tallis Amos Group, Dursley; Harvey Spells, Ben Burgess & Co, Aylsham; Callum Stanton, Farol, Midhurst; William Vooght, Masons Kings, Chudleigh; Sam Ward, Ripon Farm Services, Tadcaster; Garry Young, Thomas Sherriff & Co, Stow.

Parts Tech:
Jake Stacey, Smallridge Bros, Callington.

Turf Tech:
Ben Cobbold, Tomlinson Groundcare, Stowmarket; Nathanael Kendall, Balmers Garden Machinery, Burnley; Tom Legard, Farol, Milton Common.

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