Toro distributor Lely UK, which is based at St Neots, has made a number of appointments aimed at further improving its customer sales and technical expertise and helping address calls for the creation of more apprenticeships in the turf machinery industry.
Simon Gale has joined in the newly-created role of key accounts support. He works in tandem with the service department, and is responsible for liaising with key accounts manager Trevor Chard, providing him with technical support for Toro's large machinery fleet customers.
"I provide site visits, technical and operator training, telephone support, and generally provide back-up for Trevor's sales drive," says Simon. "My aim is to look after our key accounts and ensure they stay with us. That means delivering high levels of technical care and expertise."
Simon has spent all his working life in the turfcare industry and brings a great deal of experience both in sales and as a technician. Previously he spent six years in sales with Jacobsen dealer TH White, and before that was a demonstrator for another of the manufacturer's dealers, PA Turney.
Meanwhile, in a move to help address the turf machinery industry's need for more apprentices, Lely has started its own Apprenticeship Training Scheme with the recruitment of five trainees from Cambridgeshire. Dean Rook, 18, is from Papworth; while Andrew Ireland, 16, Sam Drew, 19, Laurence Moody, 17, and Adam Hubbard, 17, all hail from St Neots.
The five work across Lely's many departments, learning about all aspects of the distributor's business. The apprenticeship mixes academic, workshop and field experience into a superb work package lasting four years. Students can attain a Grade 3 NVQ in Engineering. Writtle College, in Essex, is Lely's partner in the initiative.
Image 1: Simon Gale.
Image 2: The new Lely apprentices, from left, Dean Rook, Andrew Ireland and Laurence Moody.