The British agriculture and turf industry's first and only purpose-built apprentice training facility has been opened by John Deere and training provider ProVQ at St James Business Park, Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire.
Designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices enrolled on the company's award winning Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech training programmes, the new centre is close to John Deere Limited's headquarters at Langar.
The company's three-year Ag and Turf Tech apprenticeships lead to the IMI Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering. Each year group trains at the centre for eight weeks a year in four blocks of two weeks, with some days spent at Langar when working with larger machines such as combines and self-propelled forage harvesters.
The two-year Parts Tech apprenticeship, leading to a Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Parts Competence, is mostly work-based at the sponsoring dealer, with four weeks of training taking place at Radcliffe.
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 England, Scotland and Wales (separate training programmes are provided in Northern Ireland and Eire). Full-time ProVQ staff based at the new centre include programme manager Ian Crowder, learner support manager Christine Coxon and group trainers Richard Jenkins, Sebastian Gillbard and Benjamin Hobster.
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.
The new John Deere Apprentice Training Centre features a reception, air conditioned classrooms, workshop areas, changing and washing facilities plus a dining room. Provision has also been made for further expansion, with plans in place for two more classrooms and a small workshop/laboratory when required.
"Our new business partnership with ProVQ is already going from strength to strength, and we are delighted to have established this new bespoke facility so close to our UK headquarters," says John Deere Limited training centre manager Richard Halsall. "The company's investment in the Apprentice Training Centre reinforces our continuing aim to provide industry leading training programmes for our agricultural and turf dealers."
ProVQ Limited's managing director Julian Lloyd adds: "We have jointly developed a very high quality training environment in which John Deere apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the comprehensive John Deere product range. We look forward to seeing many young people come through our doors in the future at the start of what is a very exciting and rewarding career."