John Deere to open new apprentice training centre

Steve Mitchellin Training & Education

John Deere and training provider ProVQ have announced plans to open a brand new Apprentice Training Centre this autumn, at a farm site in Upper Saxondale near Bingham in Nottinghamshire. This will mark the 30th anniversary of the company's first Ag Tech apprentice intake, who were enrolled at original partner Brooksby Melton College in 1992.

Pictured at the site of John Deere and ProVQ's new Apprentice Training Centre are (rear, left to right) Stuart Jones and James Haslam of ProVQ, Allan Cochran of John Deere and (front left & right) third year Turf Tech apprentice Sean Richardson of dealer Tuckwells at Ardleigh with John Deere work experience placement student Harriet Stephenson

Designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices attending the company's award winning Ag Tech, Turf Tech and Parts Tech training programmes, the first John Deere Apprentice Training Centre was established at Radcliffe-on-Trent five years ago. These premises have now been outgrown, due to the programmes' success and increasing dealer demand.

The Ag ,Turf and Parts Tech apprenticeships focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for dealer personnel of the future. Each year group trains at the centre for up to eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks. Some of this time is also spent at John Deere's Langar HQ when working with the largest equipment and the latest technologies.

John Deere appointed ProVQ Limited in summer 2015 as its new business partner to deliver the apprentice training programmes on behalf of its dealers in the UK & Ireland. Since that time the strength of the partnership has allowed the programmes to develop and grow to meet the needs and expectations of a modern John Deere dealership. The current full-time ProVQ staff will continue to be managed by James Haslam at the new Apprentice Training Centre from the autumn.

ProVQ started its apprentice training programmes in 2005, and went on to develop a full range of national services including apprentice recruitment, training, vocational assessment and qualifications. Today the company trains over 600 apprentices and many hundreds of adult learners on technical, parts and customer service programmes.

An impression of the new John Deere & ProVQ Apprentice Training Centre, which is due to be officially opened in the autumn

"We are really looking forward to establishing this new bespoke facility close to our UK headquarters at Langar," said John Deere Limited training centre manager Allan Cochran. "Our joint investment in the expanded Apprentice Training Centre will be in the region of £1.5 million. This will allow us to continue our growth and ambition to attract more young talent to develop successful careers in land-based engineering through the John Deere agricultural, turf and forestry dealer network."

"As our dealership businesses continue to grow, there is increasing demand for qualified technicians equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to support that growth. We have therefore recognised the need to increase the capacity of our already successful and industry leading training programmes even further."

"The new site will feature a purpose-built two-storey unit in addition to refurbished and extended farm buildings, effectively almost doubling our available square footage. The premises will include a bigger workshop space as well as larger classroom and cafeteria facilities.

"Most importantly, this will give us the capability to double our throughput of trained technicians to meet dealer demand. ProVQ will maintain its current staffing levels and continue to provide the full suite of apprentice technician training programmes at the new premises."

ProVQ managing director Stuart Jones added: "Together with John Deere, we have already jointly developed a very high quality training environment in which apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the company's comprehensive agricultural and amenity turf product ranges.

"We are now looking forward to seeing many more young people come through the doors of our new training centre at the start of what is undoubtedly a very exciting and rewarding career in engineering and parts support. The facilities we are developing will help them to achieve their full potential in a rapidly changing industry that offers a great opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technologies supporting food production, land management and environmental sustainability."

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