PRESS RELEASE October 27, 2023
Graduation ceremony marks next step in careers of 39 John Deere apprentices
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 UK.
The talented cohort’s achievements were recognised at a graduation ceremony in Nottingham on Friday night (20 October) at a dinner 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,” Allan 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.
To find out more about starting a John Deere apprenticeship, or to apply for open positions, go to dealerjobs.deere.com.
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.