The Land-based Education and Training Committee (LE-TEC Ltd) have announced the top three winners of the Technicians for 2021 competition, designed to celebrate and find the UK’s best technicians in the land-based engineering sector.
Entrants were asked to submit a short video explaining three aspects of themselves; who they were, what inspired them to become a land-based technician and why they enjoy their job.
The judging panel consisted of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE), the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) and the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). Aiming to highlight the skills and passion of the sector, the judges were said to be overwhelmed by the content of some of the entries.
Ruth Bailey, CEO of the AEA explained the initiative behind the competition: “Recruitment for us, as within many industries, has been difficult in recent years, and our industry is an absolute gem but one that is little-known outside of industry circles. These three winners will be fantastic champions for our industry, showcasing the major talent and ambition that is represented throughout the sector. We cannot wait to work with them further.”
Charles Nicklin, CEO of IAgrE said: “Our industry is such a great place to work, we are surrounded by sophisticated highly productive machinery enabling customers to run their operations efficiently. Service backup and product support are essential elements of this, and that needs top quality professional technicians performing these roles. The top three technicians we have selected are fantastic examples of people working in our exciting industry and I wish them well in their careers.”
Keith Christian, director of BAGMA added: “With around 48% of dealer staff employed in the technical side of the industry, the wealth of experience, level of professionalism and technical ability that technicians offer to UK users of equipment in the land-based sector is on a par with all other engineering-based industries in the UK.”
Laura Bassnet took first place, winning a Stanley FATMAX Technicians Suitcase (provided by Toolbank) and a multi-day training course with AP Air Ltd.
In second place, Lauren Savage was awarded a Sealey Tools 100pc Mechanics Tool Kit donated by Kubota UK, while Chris Laidler took third place, winning a Makita Cordless Impact Drill.
Mr Nicklin remarked on Ms Bassnet’s winning video: “A great example of a professional dynamic person embarking on a career in our industry. Her personable confident approach will be a great asset to her employer in providing professional customer service.”
Ms Bailey added: “All the judges felt that the entrants had a great story to tell and told it with real passion and sincerity. The judges were looking for several things from the video submissions: how someone started their career; what type of equipment they were working with; what excited them about their job and how the candidate had either progressed or could see themselves progressing. They were looking for how they presented themselves, how they related with the audience and how their style could engage with an audience that LE-TEC is looking to capture. All three of our winners were able to deliver on this.”
On winning the competition, Ms Bassnet said: “I am delighted to have been acknowledged as an upcoming technician in this progressive industry. It just goes to show with the right leadership and opportunities presented you can turn your ambitions into a career.”
Finally, Mr Christain concluded: “As an industry collaboration, LE-TEC is looking to tackle one of the biggest current issues the agricultural and outdoor power equipment sectors face today: that of skills. The training and recruitment of youngsters for our industry, particularly in respect of attracting young talent into our manufacturing and retail base, is ever more critical. As an industry, we face a huge crisis in the skills gap if we do not start to look more pragmatically about enticing a new intake of recruits and then genuinely offering them a progressive career path that recognises skills and competence levels within the technicians’ and customer service-related roles.”
LE-TEC plans to run the competition on an annual basis.