Ben Burgess congratulates three technician graduates

29 May 2019 Ben Burgess News

Ben Burgess are pleased to announce three service technicians have formally graduated from the latest John Deere Ag Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, which are run in partnership with national training provider ProVQ at the purpose-built John Deere Apprentice Training Centre in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

James Rudolph and Callum Truman of Ben Burgess Coates, and George Bye of Ben Burgess Newmarket attended the annual apprentice graduation ceremony which was held at the East Midlands Conference Centre on the University of Nottingham campus, with their parents and colleagues; service managers, Paul Williamson and Simon Wicks, and managing director, Ben Turner. John Deere managing director, Jonathan Henry, presented the apprentices with their graduation certificates before they were joined by after-dinner guest speaker and TV presenter Guy Martin.

Recent changes mean all central government approved apprenticeships in England now require an end-point assessment, over and above the log of work progress that is kept for each apprentice. James, Callum and George, as part of a group of 31 graduates, were some of the first John Deere technicians to graduate under the new EPA rules.

“With the new EPA tests, which were held at Langar in April, both John Deere and our dealers are now able to quantify more effectively the skills of the apprentices we are training,” says John Deere training centre manager Allan Cochran. “An EPA pass mark of above 90 per cent was required to earn a distinction and well over half the apprentices we tested achieved this, which was well above our initial expectations, so we are off to a great start with these new assessments.”

John Deere’s three-year Ag Tech and Turf Tech and two-year Parts Tech apprenticeships involve students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales and marketing. The programmes lead to IMI Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering and Vehicle Parts Competence, and registration at LTA Intermediate level in the industry’s Landbased Training Accreditation scheme.

In subsequent years qualified technicians undergo further education and adult training within the John Deere University programme, on a career path that can ultimately lead to the highest possible LTA Master Technician accreditation.

New student intakes are in September each year. The standard programmes include on-the-job training and assessment as well as eight weeks each year at the John Deere Apprentice Training Centre. Further details about a John Deere apprenticeship at Ben Burgess can be found at

Now in its 27th year, Ag Tech was the first such scheme to be introduced in the UK and won a National Training Award at the end of 1997, the only one ever made to an agricultural machinery apprenticeship programme. Since the first programme started in 1992, over 750 apprentices have graduated through the three main schemes and are now working at dealerships nationwide.