Record graduation for CLAAS apprentices

The success of the CLAAS Apprenticeship scheme was evident at the recent graduation where a record number of apprentices received their Graduation certificates

A total of 25 young technicians received their certificates at the Graduation Ceremony held at the CLAAS Training Academy at Saxham. Of these, 21 students were studying for the CLAAS Agricultural Technician apprenticeship, with the remaining four completing the CLAAS Parts apprenticeship.

The number of independent CLAAS dealers investing in the training of young technicians and their company’s future service provision, is also evident in the fact that over half of the new graduates are from independent dealerships throughout both the UK and Ireland.

Over the previous four years, the Agricultural Technician students have split their time between formal training blocks lasting 3-6 weeks at either Reaseheath College in Cheshire or SRUC Barony Campus at Dumfries, at time spent gaining practical experience with their supporting dealer, resulting in them receiving an IMI National Diploma in Agricultural Engineering, which is the equivalent of three ‘A’ Levels.

Similarly, the four students on the 3-year CLAAS Parts Sales & Marketing apprenticeship have split their time between formal training at Reaseheath College and practical time spent back at their dealership, working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Parts Operations, which again is the equivalent of three ‘A’ Levels.

Within the cohort, three students were also recognised for their overall contribution to the course. Landbased Engineering apprentices Ben Storr and Andrew Shorten were awarded ‘Apprentice contributing most to the CLAAS Apprenticeship’ awards for Reaseheath and Barony respectively, with Harriet Simpson winning the Parts Apprenticeship award from Reaseheath. In addition, Jacob Chater was also named the Reaseheath ‘Landbased Engineering Apprentice of the Year’ in 2017 at the completion of the formal education section of his training.

Following their graduation from the CLAAS Apprenticeship scheme, all the apprentices were invited to attend the Apprentice Graduation Celebration Trip. Over the course of four days they travelled through France and Germany, visiting the CLAAS Tractor factory at Le Mans, the worldwide parts centre at Hamm and the CLAAS Group headquarters at Harsewinkel, so as to gain more insightabout CLAAS as a global company.

This, however, is just the start of their training with CLAAS. Having qualified, the young technicians will have access to ongoing training and development aligned to the Landbased Technician Accreditation (LTA) scheme. Having gained LTA 2 status, with further training and dealer experience, they will have the opportunity to reach product specific LTA 3 (Master Mechanic) status before going onto the highest LTA 4 (Master Technician) level, or even into more senior management roles within their dealerships or with CLAAS.

Graduating were:


Francis Shannon                  Leinster Farm Machines, Duleek

Andrew Shorten                   McCarthys, Cork

Jake Henderson                   Gordons, Castle Douglas

Matthew McAvoy                Gordons, Berryhill

George Leightley                  Rickerby, Alnwick

Joseph Rumney                   Rickerby, Carlisle

Peter Clifford                       Rickerby, Bowburn

Lewis Blair                           Rickerby, Dunbar

David Clark                         Sellars, Oldmeldrum

Ewan Will                            Sellars, Oldmeldrum

James Colwell                     Hamblys, Redruth

Dan Olive                            Hamblys, Honiton

Alex Hewer                          Morris Corfield, Broseley

Steven Bickley                    Olivers, Petworth

Jacob Chater                        CLAAS Manns, Halesworth

Will Harvey                          CLAAS Manns, Saxham

Joe Klopper                         CLAAS Manns, Saxham

Matthew Codling                CLAAS Manns, Thursford

Ben Storr                              CLAAS Eastern, Ulceby Cross

Jack Walker                         CLAAS Eastern, Sinderby

Laurence Watkins-Jones           CLAAS Western, Dorchester

Parts Sales & Marketing Apprentices:

Harriet Simpson                   CLAAS Eastern, Markham Moor

James MacCallum               CLAAS Eastern, Ulceby Cross

Zak Bright                             CLAAS Western, Dorchester

Charlie Tustin                      CLAAS Western, Evesham