John Deere: The European investment continues

John Deere established its UK and Ireland headquarters at Langer, Nottinghamshire, in 1966. The site was on the edge of the wartime airfield which had been home to British bombers and US transporters.

The company has now made a further £1.5 million investment in training facilities nearby. The new centre is farm-based and is situated a few miles away in upper Saxondale.

The opening will mark the 30th anniversary of the company’s first ag-tech apprentice intake, who were enrolled with the company’s original partner, Brooksby Melton College in 1992.

John Deere prepares the ground

The centre is designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices attending the company’s training programmes.

These cover agriculture, turfcare and parts management.

The first John Deere Apprentice Training Centre was established at Radcliffe-on-Trent five years ago; those premises have now been outgrown, due to the programme’s success and increasing dealer demand.

Cutting the turf
Cutting the turf at the site for the latest training centre

In 2015, John Deere appointed ProVQ as its training provider and the company will continue to provide instruction in the new buildings. John Deere’s training manager, Allan Cochran, is predictably enthusiastic about the new project:

“We are really looking forward to establishing this new bespoke facility close to our UK headquarters at Langar. The new site will feature a purpose-built two-storey unit in addition to refurbished and extended farm buildings, effectively almost doubling our available square footage.”

John Deere is keen to emphasise that the expansion is demand led, with dealers appreciating the need for knowledgeable and qualified staff.

“As our dealership businesses continue to grow, there is increasing demand for qualified technicians equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to support that growth,” Cochran added.

Range of John Deere tractors

The agricultural machinery industry is facing a shortage of trained staff generally with reports of a strong demand for those with digital diagnostic skills in particular. ProVQ managing director, Stuart Jones, added:

“Together with John Deere, we have jointly developed a high quality training environment in which apprentices can learn to master the technology that underpins the company’s agricultural and amenity turf product ranges.

“We are now looking forward to seeing many more young people come through the doors of our new training centre at the start of what is undoubtedly a very exciting and rewarding career in engineering and parts support,” he concluded.