A group of John Deere apprentices are set to start the next stage of their careers, having qualified as service and parts technicians working in dealerships across the UK.
The cohort was recognised at a graduation ceremony in Nottingham, with a dinner attended by friends, family and mentors. Additionally, 17 master technicians – individuals who have achieved the top qualification – also received their prizes.
John Deere branch training manager Allan Cochran said: “Our industry-leading apprenticeship programme has been running for more than 30 years and has trained well over 1,100 talented individuals who have gone on to have exciting careers across the John Deere dealership network.
“Graduation ceremonies are always special, and this was no exception. To be able to celebrate the fantastic achievements of those in the room was hugely rewarding for John Deere as a company, as well for the dealers who have helped nurture this talented group to reach its potential.
“We wish the graduates all the best as they embark on the next stage of their careers within the John Deere family, and look forward to working alongside them long into the future.”
Two technicians won overall awards. Samuel Crichton, from Tuckwell’s Framfield depot, was named Technician of the Year, while Kael Horton, from Thomas Sherriff’s Hexham depot, was presented with the Parts Apprentice of the Year.
Oliver Coupland from the Retford Ripon Farm Services depot in South Yorkshire and James Hancock from Smallridge Bros’ Barnstaple depot were both named as runners-up.
Among the master technician graduates, Craig Braithwaite was singled out for his outstanding effort in becoming the first person to complete an apprenticeship and Master Technician assessment in just four years.
Prizes were handed out by Will Young – Farmer Will on TikTok – who spoke about life as an influencer creating content on farm.
It was acknowledged that this graduating class had taken on apprenticeships during one of the most challenging times in the programme’s history. Covid impacted their learning just six months into the scheme, leading to distanced learning replaced classroom sessions.
“The apprentices coped admirably with the challenge laid down to them,” Mr Cochran said. “Being able to adapt to new and changing surroundings and issues is part of being a technician, but this group of young people did themselves proud in the face of adversity.”
This was also the first year that Wirtgen Group, a construction manufacturer purchased by John Deere in 2017, was able to take part.
2023 Apprentice Graduates:
- Ben Burgess: Benjamin Cox, Honor Miles, Callum Clarke, Ethan Langley.
- Cornthwaite Group: Benjamin Glover, Kyle Wells, Graeme Riddick, Alfie Thompson, Thomas Howard.
- Farol: William Duggins, Daniel O’Donohue, Makayla Wench, Andrew Gray, Luke Hand, Joseph Scott.
- Geary’s Garage: Patrick Cremin.
- John Deere Forestry: Sean Cochrane, Jamie Duncan.
- MacGregor Industrial Supplies: Duncan Fraser-Anderson.
- Masons Kings: William Chaffe.
- Ripon Farm Services: Liam Dunn, Oliver Coupland.
- Smallridge Bros: James Hancock.
- Stephen W Moore: Reuben Bingham, Dominic O’Kane.
- Tallis Amos: Michael Cock, Ellis Morris, Ben Vose, Lewis Gutteridge,
- Thomas Sherriff: Cameron Marshall, Fraser Robertson, Conall Fairbairn, Jamie Clyne, Kael Horton.
- Tuckwells: William Coleman, Sam Crichton.
- Wirtgen Group: Thomas Holt, Jack Anderson, Stan Smith.
2023 Master Technician Graduates:
- Ben Burgess: Cameron Smith, Lewis Jaggard, Callum Luker, Jonathan Smith.
- Cornthwaite Group: Craig Braithwaite, James Sudell, Ed Crocker, Matthew Higgins.
- Farol: Iain MacKinnon, James O’Neill, Jamie Speir, Lawrence Thompson, Matthew Welbourne, Alistair Donaldson.
- Ripon Farm Services: Andrew Smith.
- Tuckwells: Oscar Mayhew, Oliver Rumsey.
For more information go to www.deere.co.uk