An induction ceremony at John Deere’s UK headquarters marked the commencement of a transformative journey for 86 aspiring apprentices as they embark on the path to becoming qualified technicians. The event signifies the commitment of John Deere to fostering the next generation of skilled professionals and building upon the success of its pioneering apprenticeship program, which has already propelled over 1,200 young talents into successful careers within the dealership network and the esteemed John Deere brand.
The 2023 cohort, entrusted to ProVQ, will undergo comprehensive apprenticeships in Ag Tech, Parts Tech, and Turf Tech. This diverse group includes apprentices from the Wirtgen Group, a John Deere-owned business specializing in road construction machinery, as well as learners from John Deere’s Forestry division.
Among the new apprentices is 16-year-old Arthur Haynes, employed at Masons Kings’ Exbridge outlet in Devon. Inspired by his surroundings and a childhood fascination with engines and mechanics, Arthur is eager to delve into the agricultural industry. He discovered the apprenticeship opportunity through a Facebook post from Masons Kings and has already spent four months working with the John Deere dealer.
“I’m working on foragers, attending call outs to service and maintain maize headers as well as carrying out pre-delivery inspections on machines. It’s absolutely brilliant – really interesting to learn about this kit which is changing all the time. I can’t wait for the rest of the apprenticeship programme. It looks great.” says Arthur.
Savannah Brown, another 16-year-old apprentice, embarks on the ag-tech apprenticeship program without a farming background. Hailing from the Scottish Borders, she is excited about the diverse opportunities the apprenticeship presents.
“Where I come from in the Scottish Borders, I socialise a lot with farmers and countryside people,” she said. “I was going to train to become a farrier but then I had some work experience at a Thomas Sherriff outlet and realised I wanted to work with engines and technology.
“The apprenticeship looks like a brilliant opportunity – a good mix of practical and classroom learning at the training centre when we’re away. I’m looking forward to the challenge” shares Savannah.
As paid employees of John Deere dealers, apprentices spend the majority of their time in workshops alongside assigned mentors. Periodically, they travel to John Deere’s Apprentice Training Centre facility in Upper Saxondale, near the company’s Langar headquarters in Nottinghamshire.
John Deere Branch Training Manager, Allan Cochran, reflects on the program’s success: “In the three decades our esteemed apprenticeship has run we have produced many cohorts of talented individuals who have gone on to have exciting careers across the John Deere dealership network.
“Our aim with the apprenticeship programme is to help young people make their first step on the career ladder, and to nurture and mould those with the skills and desire to work in our industry.”
The comprehensive apprenticeship curriculum covers engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales, and marketing. Ag Tech and Turf Tech apprentices work towards the land-based service engineering technician qualification (level 3), while Parts Tech individuals complete a retailer apprenticeship standard (level 2).
“A John Deere apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is looking to start their career in machinery, be that agriculture, turf or parts.
“Our apprentices will learn the valuable knowledge and skills for them to work their way into a career anywhere across John Deere’s worldwide dealership network.” adds Allan.
For those interested in applying for a John Deere apprenticeship, more information can be found at www.apprenticeshipfinder.co.uk/john-deere.