A record-breaking total of 66 young parts and service technicians are being trained in this year’s John Deere Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, the highest total intake since the first Ag Tech induction in 1992.
The group includes for the first time apprentices from Ireland, the John Deere Forestry division and the Wirtgen road construction business, which Deere acquired at the end of 2017, as well as more female apprentices than ever before (five altogether). These annual, award-winning programmes are run in partnership with the dealer network and national training provider ProVQ at the purpose-built John Deere Apprentice Training Centre in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire in the UK.
“There’s never been a better time to consider an apprenticeship with John Deere,” says the company’s training centre manager Allan Cochran. “The increasing levels of automation used throughout our products, including artificial intelligence, advanced electronics, satellite guidance systems and telematics, give us the ability to diagnose and repair machines without even laying a hand on them. All this technology, as well as cutting edge engine and transmission design, means the need for skilled people within our dealerships is ever present.
“It’s not just about the machines either – sophisticated parts and service systems require the same skills too. The John Deere dealer of tomorrow is a challenging business, with a wide range of opportunities and exciting prospects for talented, enthusiastic people from any background.
“Like all apprenticeships, the programmes combine on-the-job training with paid employment at the dealership, leading to nationally recognised and valued qualifications. Apprentices undergo fully supported training, assessment and guidance, gaining valuable workplace skills by undertaking practical tasks and experiencing real-life challenges. They also spend eight weeks each year at the John Deere Apprentice Training Centre and at our head office in Langar.
“We are delighted to expand the programmes for the first time to our dealers in Ireland. This will allow us to deliver the same consistent, high quality apprentice training across the UK & Irish network, to the benefit of all our customers in both countries.”
John Deere’s three-year Ag Tech and Turf Tech and two-year Parts Tech apprenticeships involve students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales and marketing. The programmes lead to IMI Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering and Vehicle Parts Competence, and registration at LTA Intermediate level in the industry’s Landbased Training Accreditation scheme.
In subsequent years qualified technicians undergo further education and adult training within the John Deere University programme, on a career path that can ultimately lead to the highest possible LTA Master Technician accreditation.
Now in its 28th year, 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. John Deere is also the only agricultural and turf machinery company to have been recognised as one of the best 100 employers for school leavers in the UK.
Since the first Ag Tech programme started in 1992, approaching 800 apprentices have graduated through the three main schemes and are now working in the company’s nationwide dealer network. Further details of the apprentice training programmes and other career opportunities can be found on the following ProVQ and John Deere websites:
The latest intake of John Deere Ag, Parts and Turf Tech technicians includes the following apprentices (in alphabetical order, by programme) and their sponsoring dealers (NB: not all were present for the photograph):
George Ashton, Ripon Farm Services, Ripon; Thomas Baker, P Tuckwell, Worlingworth; Reuben Bingham, Johnston Gilpin & Co, Lisburn; William Chaffe & Ellie Stoneman, Masons Kings, Chudleigh; Callum Clarke & Finn Sagrott, Ben Burgess, Norwich; Michael Cock, Eddie O’Regan & Makayla Wench, Farol, Milton Common; William Coleman & Luke Jeffery, Burden Bros Agri, Stockbury; Oliver Coupland, Ripon Farm Services, Retford; Patrick Cremin, Geary’s Garage, Kilmeedy, Ireland; Samuel Crichton, Burden Bros Agri, Framfield; Billy Davies, Rea Valley Tractors, Shrewsbury; William Duggins & Adam Lees, Farol, Hinckley; Rory Duncan, Thomas Sherriff, Haddington; Jamie Duncan, John Deere Forestry, Carlisle; Liam Dunn, Ripon Farm Services, Tadcaster; Sam Galey, Ben Burgess, Aylsham; Benjamin Glover, Cornthwaite Agricultural, Nantwich; Andrew Gray, Rea Valley Tractors, Sudbury; Lewis Gutteridge, Rea Valley Tractors, Newport; James Hancock, Smallridge Bros, Barnstaple; Thomas Holt, Harry Sampson & Stan Smith, Wirtgen Construction, Newark; Thomas Howard & Kyle Wells, Cornthwaite Agricultural, Bispham Green; Richard Hughes, Mona Tractor Company, Llanystumdwy; Ryan Hughes, P Tuckwell, Maulden; William Jones, Frank Sutton, Raglan; Ethan Langley, Ben Burgess, Coates; Daniel Lee-Cross, Farol, Midhurst; Cameron Marshall, Thomas Sherriff, Alnwick; Robbie McIlwraith & Graeme Riddick, Cornthwaite Agricultural, Dumfries; Honor Miles, Ben Burgess, Ellington; Dominic O’Kane, Stephen W Moore, Coleraine; Joe Pickering, Ripon Farm Services, Market Weighton; Lewis Purves, Thomas Sherriff, Stow; Oliver Rickard, Meath Farm Machinery, Navan, Ireland; Fraser Robertson, Thomas Sherriff, Jedburgh; Finlay Rose & Alfie Thompson, Cornthwaite Agricultural, Kendal; Callum Schreuder, Thomas Sherriff, Coldstream; William Simpson, Rea Valley Tractors, Welshpool; Joshua Smith, Ripon Farm Services, Brigg; Kieran Snell, Ripon Farm Services, Louth; Thomas Sutton, P Tuckwell, Dunmow; Ruari Taylor, HRN Tractors, Insch; Charlie Vine, Burden Bros Agri, Ivychurch; Ben Vose, Tallis Amos Group, Evesham.
Antonino Barraco, Ben Burgess, Ellington; Shannagh Clemens, Masons Kings, St Columb; Oliver Kelly, MacGregor Industrial Supplies, Elgin; Liam Reynolds, Ben Burgess, Aylsham; Tyler Richards, Rea Valley Tractors, Shrewsbury; Alice Tucker, C Smart Agricultural Services, Cheddar.
Benjamin Cox, Ben Burgess, Ellington; Luke Hand, Farol, Milton Common; Adam Hansell, P Tuckwell, Ardleigh; Ellis Morris, Tallis Amos Group, Evesham; Joseph Scott, Farol, Hinckley.