In agriculture, parts and turf

An induction ceremony held at John Deere’s UK headquarters recently marked the start of the journey to becoming qualified technicians for 86 young apprentices.

Since its inception, the company’s programme has started the careers of more than 1,200 young people, setting them on a course to grow their experience and expertise across the dealership network and the John Deere brand. 

The 2023 intake will complete their apprenticeships - provided by ProVQ - in either Ag Tech, Parts Tech, Turf Tech. The latest cohort also includes those working for the Wirtgen Group, which is the John Deere-owned business specialising in road construction machinery, and learners from John Deere’s Forestry division. 

Arthur Haynes and Savannah Brown

Arthur Haynes is one of the apprentices who has joined the programme. The 16-year-old works at Masons Kings’ Exbridge outlet in Devon and was inspired to pursue working in agriculture after moving to the county from the Midlands.

“When we moved to a house which also had horse stabling, there was a lot of equipment around such as tractors which has always interested me,” Arthur said.

He found out about the apprenticeship programme after seeing a Facebook post from Masons Kings and began working with the dealer.

“I’m working on foragers, attending call outs to service and maintain maize headers as well as carrying out pre-delivery inspections on machines. It’s absolutely brilliant – really interesting to learn about this kit which is changing all the time. I can’t wait for the rest of the apprenticeship programme. It looks great.”

Another 16-year-old just embarking on the ag-tech apprenticeship programme is Savannah Brown. Savannah is not from a farming background but says that this is not a barrier for her.

“Where I come from in the Scottish Borders, I socialise a lot with farmers and countryside people,” she said. “I was going to train to become a farrier but then I had some work experience at a Thomas Sherriff outlet and realised I wanted to work with engines and technology.

“The apprenticeship looks like a brilliant opportunity - a good mix of practical and classroom learning at the training centre when we’re away. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

John Deere branch training manager Allan Cochran said, “In the three decades our esteemed apprenticeship has run we have produced many cohorts of talented individuals who have gone on to have exciting careers across the John Deere dealership network.

“Our aim with the apprenticeship programme is to help young people make their first step on the career ladder, and to nurture and mould those with the skills and desire to work in our industry.

Allan concluded, “Our apprentices will learn the valuable knowledge and skills for them to work their way into a career anywhere across John Deere’s worldwide dealership network.”

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