Land-based engineering apprenticeships get government approval

The apprenticeship standards for the roles of service engineer and engineering technician have been approved by the government, in the second stage of its Trailblazer apprenticeship initiative.

“Technicians are the backbone of every dealership and as an industry we need to make sure we provide them with a structured training programme and a recognisable career path. With modern agriculture increasingly reliant upon fewer, higher capacity machines, service is the lynchpin of any forward thinking dealership. Farmers and contractors cannot afford to have their machine standing idle, which makes the availability of well trained, highly skilled service personnel essential and often a key consideration in the buying decision. To achieve best-in-class apprenticeship standards will also make the industry more attractive to new recruits and help dealers retain their highly valued technicians, said Alastair Tulloch, Claas UK Divisional Manager – After Sales.

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) CEO, Alastair Taylor commented: “I am absolutely delighted that two apprenticeship standards have received the stamp of approval from the government. This new approach really puts employers and industry in the driving seat and will build upon the great work we have been doing to establish a single voice for the training of land-based engineering technicians.”

IAgrE joined forces with the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA), the British Agriculture and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) and machinery dealers such as CLAAS UK Ltd, Toro, Kubuta (UK) AGCO Ltd, Ransomes Jacobson, John Deere and Case New Holland to develop the standards for the new apprenticeships.

The Landbased Technician Accreditation Scheme (LTA), a scheme administered by IAgrE, formed the backbone to the new proposals. Under this scheme IAgrE, where appropriate, facilitates the registration of suitably qualified technicians as Engineering Technicians (EngTech) with the Engineering Council.

The scheme provides a nationwide means of benchmarking, monitoring and assessing the competence of technicians employed within the land-based sector.

“The next stage of the process will be to develop the operational standards and we look forward to working in partnership with training providers and employers to establish best practice delivery methods and welcoming those completing apprenticeships moving forward to become engineering technicians,” added Mr Taylor.

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