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Stackyard News Sep 08

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CLAAS Launch New Scottish Based Apprenticeship Training

CLAAS UK is helping to lead the way in the development and introduction of a new training qualification for apprentices, that will raise industry standards further and help move the whole spectrum of training forward in order to assist in meeting future needs.

Dealership technicians based at Writtle College in Essex.

Writtle College

The students joining the CLAAS apprenticeship scheme this autumn will be the first in the UK to study for a manufacturer sponsored National Diploma in Land Based Technology.

At the same time, CLAAS has also expanded its own apprenticeship programme with the introduction of a new course based at Barony College near Dumfries, making it the first major manufacturer to offer such a scheme in Scotland.

In all, a total of 25 students will be joining the CLAAS Apprenticeship scheme this autumn, with 12 based at Writtle in Essex and 13 at Barony College.

“CLAAS is one of the first manufacturers to adopt this new higher qualification and we have a direct input into the development of this bespoke programme. We are working with other manufacturers, some of whom are also considering offering the Diploma in the future,” explains John Palmer, training manager for CLAAS UK.

“The main benefit of the new Diploma is that upon qualification, the successful candidate will receive a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade, which will enable them to better demonstrate and gain recognition for their progression and ability. In addition this should also enable them to progress quicker through the Land-based Technician Accreditation (LTA) scheme.”

Unlike the previous modern apprenticeship course that was four years long, the new Diploma course takes only three years, but those on the CLAAS course will do an additional year during which time they will gain additional certificates, such as those for towing a trailer, refrigerant handling or forklift operators’ licence. In addition, as before the students will also have the opportunity to train at CLAAS UK headquarters at Saxham, and subsequently at the Group headquarters at Harsewinkle in Germany, before being able to work for a CLAAS dealer in Australia or New Zealand in their final year.

“Upon successful completion of the CLAAS programme, al participants will gain LTA 2 status and with the additional technical elements integrated into the scheme there should be opportunities for accelerated progression to LTA Tier 3 or LTA Tier 4 once the necessary experience has also been gained.

“This should also bring a targeted benefit for the supporting dealer and CLAAS, because on average it costs about £150,000 to train an apprentice, and a further £30,00 to take them to Tier 3 or Tier 4 within the LTA scheme, so the sooner they reach that level, the sooner the dealer will start to see a return on their investment and commitment in the technician.”

New Barony College course
The addition of a new CLAAS Agricultural Apprenticeship Scheme based at Barony College near Dumfries will give dealers in northern England and Scotland the same apprentice training opportunities as is currently available to more southerly dealers through Writtle College in Essex.

CLAAS UK has been working in partnership with Barony College for the past 6 years to offer technical and operator training on a regional basis and this agreement will see the company supplying the college with additional equipment for training. In addition, it will provide both Writtle and Barony with the opportunity to share assets and knowledge to further develop the training and assessment material to mutual advantage.

“CLAAS UK will be the first major manufacturer to support Scottish dealers and farmers in such a way and it is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices,” states Drew Easton, the Engineering Section Head at Barony College. “This is a first for Scotland and unique.”

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