A total of 28 young service technicians recently graduated from the John Deere Turf Tech and Ag Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, run by national training provider Babcock.
The group of third year students, just over a quarter of the total of 102 apprentices now undergoing training with John Deere and Babcock, received their certificates during a specially arranged visit to the company's Mannheim and Bruchsal facilities. This included the John Deere tractor and cab factories, the European Parts Distribution Centre (EPDC) and a graduation dinner with John Deere management.
The presentations were made at the John Deere Forum visitor centre by John Deere's regional training delivery manager Peter Leech, John Deere Limited training manager Chris Wiltshire and Babcock programme manager John Chambers. Philip Elliston of East Sussex agricultural dealer Burden Bros Agri Ltd at Framfield was named apprentice of the year and presented with a crystal plaque, an additional certificate and vouchers for workshop tools worth £300.
The apprentices can go on to complete their education for a fourth year to gain the John Deere Diploma and register at LTA2 level in the industry's Landbased Technician Accreditation scheme, while starting their adult training within the John Deere University.
Now in its 21st 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. Since the first programme started in 1992, more than 525 apprentices have graduated through all three John Deere schemes (Turf Tech, Ag Tech and Parts Tech) and are now working in the company's nationwide dealer network.
The group photograph shows John Deere's 2012 Turf Tech and Ag Tech third year graduates at the John Deere Forum in Mannheim, Germany, with John Deere's Peter Leech and Chris Wiltshire, and John Chambers of Babcock. The apprentices and their sponsoring dealers are (not in order in the photo):
Turf Tech: Karl Chisnall, P Tuckwell, Essex; Ross Dawson, Henry Armer & Son, Cumbria; Simon Howells, Charlies Groundcare, Powys; Samuel Waddington, Bob Wild Grass Machinery, West Yorkshire.
Ag Tech: Samuel Albutt, Doubleday (Holbeach), Lincolnshire; Michael Baker, Tallis Amos Group, Herefordshire; Oliver Brookes, Rea Valley Tractors, Derbyshire; Benjamin Campbell, Nicholas Sparkes & Andrew Smith, RBM Agricultural Market Weighton, Yorkshire; Brett Clarke, Tallis Amos Group, Gloucestershire; Thomas Craig & Johannes King, RBM Agricultural Louth, Lincolnshire; Philip Elliston, Burden Bros Agri, East Sussex; Dean Gascoyne & Scott Stevens, Farol, Berkshire; William Gerry, Robert Cole Agricultural Engineers, Devon; Gary Halliday, Doubleday (Kings Lynn), Norfolk; Henry Hilsdon, Farol, Northamptonshire; Michael Jones, Frank Sutton, Gwent; Mark Makepeace, Everitt & Marshall, Northumberland; William Marchant & Richard Whitlow, Tallis Amos Group, Worcestershire; Ben Simpson, Ripon Farm Services Tadcaster, North Yorkshire; Cameron Smith & Jason Spalding, Ben Burgess Beeston, Norfolk; Harry Stowell, Ben Burgess Norwich, Norfolk; William Twigg, Sharmans Agricultural, Nottinghamshire.