School-leavers and young people with an aptitude for engineering can build a career for life, while earning and learning through a highly respected apprenticeship scheme, celebrating 20 years of developing the next generation of agricultural technicians.
This year, 22 new budding agricultural engineers have taken the first steps to a career working with brands including Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra, as they make up the year one cohort on the Agco Academy Apprenticeship Scheme, run in partnership with WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group).
They join 70 apprentices across four years of the level-three apprenticeship scheme, which this year includes for the first time the new end-point assessment (EPA).
Under new apprenticeship reforms, all apprentices must now complete an EPA, designed to test whether each has gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours to complete their apprenticeship.
Anthony Linfield, Agco’s training development manager, says: “The EPA further enhances what is already recognised as one of the best engineering apprenticeships across all industries.
“The apprenticeship schemes offer a real opportunity to gain knowledge and skills at college, as well as gaining valuable hands-on experience in the workplace.”
Three of the new intake: George Fenner of RW Crawford’s Essex depot; Luke Lovell of Brockhills of Yorkshire; and Tom Voase, based from P&B’s Hailsham depot; have just undertaken the second block of their classroom and workplace training at WCG’s Moreton Morrell campus, along with the rest of the year group.
All three, aged 17, have joined the apprenticeship scheme from different backgrounds.
Farmers Guardian will be following their progress as they work through the training modules and apply these skills at their individual dealerships.
Tim Hutchinson, course leader of the scheme at WCG, says: “We are very proud of our track record and are really keen to allow others to follow the progress of our latest group of apprentices as they start to develop their careers.
“Many of these guys will be working alongside, and in the footsteps of, colleagues who have successfully completed their apprenticeship with Agco and WCG, and are now enjoying a successful career in a highly sought-after sector.”
Mr Linfield adds: “Time-served land-based engineers that progress and demonstrate high levels of expertise are a tremendous asset to all of us in the industry.
“Moreover, they are much in demand, and if this latest intake successfully complete the qualification, they can look forward to a rewarding career.”