Graduation of John Deere Apprentices

John Deere’s apprentices class of 2023.

Nottingham, England: A 39-strong group of John Deere apprentices are starting the next stage of their careers having qualified as service and parts technicians working in dealerships across the United Kingdom.

The talented cohort’s achievements were recognised at a graduation ceremony attended by their friends, family and mentors who have been at their side throughout the course.

It was also an evening of celebration for 17 Master Technicians – individuals who have achieved the top-tier service technician qualification – who received their prizes at the event.  

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.”

It was an extra special night for two technicians who won overall awards. Samuel Crichton from Tuckwell’s Framfield depot in Sussex was named Technician Apprentice of the Year, while Kael Horton from Thomas Sherriff’s Hexham depot in Northumberland was presented with the Parts Apprentice of the Year award.

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.

The individual prizes were presented to the winners by Will Young – best known as Farmer Will on TikTok – who addressed the room on life as an influencer creating content on a farm.

During the evening, presenters acknowledged that many of the class of 2023 had taken on apprenticeships during one of the most challenging times in the programme’s history.

For many, the Covid lockdown took effect just six months into their studies, meaning distanced learning replaced what had been intended as classroom sessions.

“The apprentices coped admirably with the challenge laid down to them,” 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.”

It was also the first graduation for apprentices from the Wirtgen Group; a construction machinery manufacturer which was purchased by John Deere in 2017.

John Deere’s apprenticeship programme is provided by ProVQ and involves students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales, and marketing.

Ag Tech and Turf Tech candidates study towards the land-based service engineering technician qualification (level 3), while in Parts Tech individuals complete a retailer apprenticeship standard (level 2).

New students are enrolled each year, and the standard programmes include on-the-job training and assessment as well as up to eight weeks each year at the John Deere Apprentice Training Centre.

John Deere is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

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