John Deere and training provider ProVQ have announced plans to open a brand new apprentice training centre this autumn, at a farm site in Upper Saxondale near Bingham, Nottinghamshire. This will coincide with the company’s first Ag Tech apprentice scheme, which started in 1992 with original partner Brooksby Melton College.
Developed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices enrolled in the company’s Ag Tech, Turf Tech and Parts Tech training programmes, the first John Deere apprentice training centre was established at Radcliffe-on-Trent five years ago. The company states that it has outgrown these premises due to the programme’s success and increased dealer demand.
The Ag, Turf and Parts Tech apprenticeship schemes focus on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for dealer personnel of the future. Each year group trains at the centre for up to eight weeks a year, in four blocks of two weeks. Some of this time is also spent at John Deere’s Langer headquarters when working with the largest equipment and the latest technologies.
ProVQ was appointed in summer 2015 as John Deere’s new business partner to deliver the training programmes. Since then, the programmes have developed and grown to meet the needs and expectations of the dealer network. The current full-time ProVQ staff will continue to be managed by James Haslam at the new training centre.
“We are really looking forward to establishing this new bespoke facility close to our UK headquarters at Langar,” said John Deere Limited training centre manager Allan Cochran. “Our joint investment in the expanded Apprentice Training Centre will be in the region of £1.5 million. This will allow us to continue our growth and ambition to attract more young talent to develop successful careers in land-based engineering through the John Deere agricultural, turf and forestry dealer network.
“As our dealership businesses continue to grow, there is increasing demand for qualified technicians equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to support that growth. We have therefore recognised the need to increase the capacity of our already successful and industry leading training programmes even further.
“The new site will feature a purpose-built two-storey unit in addition to refurbished and extended farm buildings, effectively almost doubling our available square footage. The premises will include a bigger workshop space as well as larger classroom and cafeteria facilities.
“Most importantly, this will give us the capability to double our throughput of trained technicians to meet dealer demand. ProVQ will maintain its current staffing levels and continue to provide the full suite of apprentice technician training programmes at the new premises.”
ProVQ managing director Stuart Jones added: “Together with John Deere, we have already jointly developed a very high quality training environment in which apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the company’s comprehensive agricultural and amenity turf product ranges.
“We are now looking forward to seeing many more young people come through the doors of our new training centre at the start of what is undoubtedly a very exciting and rewarding career in engineering and parts support. The facilities we are developing will help them to achieve their full potential in a rapidly changing industry that offers a great opportunity to work with some of the most advanced technologies supporting food production, land management and environmental sustainability.”