- An induction ceremony held at John Deere’s UK headquarters has marked the start of the journey to becoming qualified technicians for 86 young apprentices
Since its inception, the company’s pioneering programme has ignited 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 is one of the apprentices joining the programme this autumn. 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.
“Years ago my dad built a sports car and got me into engines and mechanics, so I guess that’s really driven me to look into this industry for work.”
He found out about the apprenticeship programme after seeing a Facebook post from Masons Kings and has been working with the John Deere dealer for four months.
“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.”
Apprentices are paid employees of John Deere dealers, spending most of their time in the workshop alongside an assigned mentor. For a set number of weeks in a year, they travel to John Deere’s new Apprentice Training Centre facility in Upper Saxondale, near the company’s Langar headquarters in Nottinghamshire.
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.”
John Deere’s apprenticeship programme involves students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales, and marketing. Ag Tech and Turf Tech apprentices study towards the land-based service engineering technician qualification (level 3), while in Parts Tech individuals complete a retailer apprenticeship standard (level 2).
Allan added: “A John Deere apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is looking to start their career in machinery, be that agriculture, turf or parts.
“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.”
Anyone interested in applying for a John Deere apprenticeship can go to www.apprenticeshipfinder.co.uk/john-deere.