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CLAAS Apprenticeship success

A record 26 students have joined this year's CLAAS Agricultural Technician Apprenticeship intake, which is split between Reaseheath in Cheshire and Barony College near Dumfries.

A  record 26 students have joined this year’s CLAAS Agricultural Technician Apprenticeship intake, which is split between Reaseheath in Cheshire and Barony College near Dumfries. Also joining the scheme for the first time are students from both northern and southern Ireland.

The success of the CLAAS Agricultural Technician Apprenticeship and the acknowledgement of the high level of training and the ongoing opportunities that CLAAS provides, is evident in the high numbers of applicants for a place on the course.

Claas Barony intake
The success of the course also highlights the awareness there is within the CLAAS dealer network for the need to invest in young staff, to ensure that they can bring on the skilled, highly trained technicians that will be needed to service and maintain increasingly complex machinery in the future.

In addition to the course based at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, which is acknowledged as the UK’s leading college for agricultural engineering, CLAAS is the only landbased engineering company to offer a manufacturer’s apprenticeship within Scotland.

The Barony course was launched in 2008, in order to provide CLAAS dealers in Scotland, the north of England and now Ireland with the same opportunity as southern dealers have to train and develop the skilled technicians they need for the future.

Modern agricultural tractors, combines and foragers are highly complex machines, incorporating advanced electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components.

Gone are the days of service staff just needing to have a good working knowledge of how an engine works. Aside from basic mechanical skills, the modern service engineer needs to be able to understand far more complex aspects such as modern engine management systems, CANBUS, ISOBUS, GPS, etc.

These high skills levels are reflected in the course that the students undertake both at Reaseheath and Barony College, where they study for a National Diploma in Land Based Technology, which is seen as a practical hands-on alternative to Highers or ‘A’ Levels.

Claas Reaseheath intake
One of the main benefits of the Diploma, in addition to higher technical credibility, is that upon qualification, the successful candidate will receive a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade. This enables the student to better demonstrate and gain recognition for their ability and potential, in order to progress to higher level qualifications.

During the four-year apprenticeship programme, students spend three years studying the National Diploma, in which time they have the opportunity to train at CLAAS UK headquarters at Bury St Edmunds, and subsequently the Group headquarters at Harsewinkel in Germany.

In their final year, the students gain additional qualifications relating to air conditioning, electronics and hydraulics, together with their telehandler and trailer test licenses. As a result, when they complete the course they are well prepared for full entry into the dealer environment and associated industry requirements.

Following the students graduation from the Apprenticeship scheme, Service Engineers then follow a comprehensive CLAAS training development plan, which is laid out by the CLAAS Academy and aligned with the Landbased Technician Accreditation (LTA) scheme.

This programme is designed to mirror the business requirements of CLAAS dealers and also offers career progression through the LTA tiers, from LTA 2 (Service Engineer), to LTA 3 (Master Mechanic) or LTA 4 (Master Technician). As such the Apprentice scheme is the start of a continual development cycle which will offer entrants a clear career pathway.

 

 

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