Toro distributor Lely UK has launched its new Turfcare Training Programme for 2015, which sees new courses and training venues introduced for the year.
Accessible via www.lelyliterature.co.uk, the 12-page guide comprises all of the industry-leading courses Lely is recognised for; from certificated Toro operator training sessions to turfcare mechanic and spray technician courses.
New for 2015, however, is the introduction of tractor driving courses, added to complement the TYM range Lely distributes. "Our new TYM Compact Tractor Driving Award allows even the most experienced tractor drivers to update their knowledge and skills and get the very best out of the machinery we supply," says Neil Adams, head of training at Lely UK. "The new course is already proving popular with experienced and novice operators alike."
Also showing popularity early on are Lely's sprayer technician courses; a trend thought to be affected by upcoming legislation changes. Currently, anyone born before 31 December 1964 does not need a specified Certificate of Competence (CoC) to apply professional plant protection products (PPP). As of November 2015, however, everyone will require a CoC to apply pesticides. Lely is now City and Guilds (NPTC) accredited to offer this training with its Advanced Pesticides Application course.
As well as chemical application training, Lely is able to offer City & Guilds vocational training in a variety of land-based machinery disciplines to its customers, similar to that currently offered by colleges and other training providers. This follows the appointment of The Toro Company as an approved City & Guilds training centre in Europe.
Along with being associated with a global leader in skills development, Neil says an added benefit of becoming City & Guilds accredited is a significant drop in course prices. "We've essentially cut out the middle man, allowing us to offer our customers some fantastic training opportunities at a lower rate than past years."
Together with the introduction of a new course and lowered prices, Lely has also announced that they will be trialling three new training venues this year. Cutting Technology and After-cut Appearance, a course that always sees a high uptake, will now be available at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport; Elmwood Golf Club, Fife, Scotland; and ReelTech, Ireland.
Neil explains the firm's motive for expanding their offering beyond Lely's training base in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. "We've always offered the choice to deliver courses at our customers' own premises, but often it's more cost effective to train employees off site for the smaller companies. By making the courses more accessible UK-wide, we hope to encourage a higher participation in training," he says.
While Lely is offering just one course at more locations currently, the company plans to expand this offering across all courses if customer feedback is positive.