There were celebrations as a fresh group of apprentices graduated this month from New Holland’s special three-year course to equip its dedicated team with the latest knowledge and skills.
Twenty-three graduates will return to their New Holland dealerships with a BTEC National Diploma in Land-based Technology after completing their training at Reaseheath College in Cheshire.
The specialist, semi-residential course is partly funded and run by New Holland, and involves an extra five modules specific to its range of tractors and harvesting machinery, such as hydraulics, diagnostics and electronics.
Students hail from dealerships around the country: as far afield as Aberdeenshire in Scotland, Wrexham in Wales and Cheltenham in England.
They were presented with certificates by New Holland’s After-Sales Commercial Manager, Rob Alker, at a ceremony at the college on Tuesday May 29th.
He said: “Congratulations to all the trainees who have worked so hard to complete this challenging course. It’s a pleasure to present the certificates, and their new skills will only strengthen the quality of our After Sales service even further.
“Their dedication to learning new things and pushing themselves to achieve the very best results is a reflection of how New Holland demands that, wherever possible, the company goes that extra mile for its end users.
“Their careers will benefit immensely from what they have learned during their time here and I have no doubt their new-found knowledge and expertise will be fully appreciated by grateful customers – which is one of the reasons so many stay loyal to our brand.”
Every graduate is also qualified to apply for LTA status (Land-based Technician Accreditation) at Level 2, which is a professionally recognised scheme run by the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) in conjunction with major agricultural equipment manufacturers.
Tim Ball, from Reaseheath College, has the job of liaising with New Holland, the dealerships and the college itself, where the course has been run since 2002.
He said: “The performance of all has been extremely good and the success rate 100 per cent. There have been some high achievement grades throughout the group. The apprentices themselves are very happy with the time they have spent here.
“It creates a good, sound education and knowledge of the fundamentals, and the additional inputs of the manufacturers just raises the guys to a different level and sets them up nicely for their future careers.”
One of the dealerships taking part was Francis Bugler’s branch in Beaminster, Dorset. Managing Director John Bugler said: “I’m really pleased with Luke and he’s improved his career prospects with his hard work.
“The course has definitely raised the profile of the agricultural service engineer and given it the recognition it deserves.
“It is an improvement on the traditional college training that tended to be too general to meet a New Holland dealer’s specific requirements – the Dealer University is more focussed on what we need and at a high standard too.”
Another dealership was Ravenhill, which sent a trainee from its outlet in Maud, Aberdeenshire. Service Manager Norman Thomson said: “Matthew really has enjoyed it, particularly the New Holland side of it.
“He’s really enthusiastic at work and will definitely benefit from the extra skills, giving him a much better chance of promotion.”
For more information on the New Holland apprentice training scheme, contact your local New Holland dealership.