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CLAAS Apprentices getting the best in land-based skills training
PUBLISHED: 09/04/2014 | UPDATED:10/04/2014 15:57:07
Apprentices at CLAAS are to benefit from a new training programme provided by IMI Awards that will give them the skills to maintain specialist vehicles and machines for use in agriculture. On completion of the Diploma, apprentices will be qualified as an Agricultural Engineer.

During the four year diploma, the apprentices (who come from all regions of the UK and the Republic of Ireland) will complete block placement studies at either Reaseheath College in Cheshire, or SRUC Barony Campus in Dumfries. During this time, apprentices will also be given the opportunity to visit the CLAAS UK headquarters in Saxham, Suffolk.

Kelly Flack, Apprenticeship and Placement Co-ordinator at CLAAS said, “CLAAS has worked closely with IMI Awards to build a new course which draws on the organisation’s experience with automotive apprenticeships. Each of these experiences have been used as a model for our new land-based apprenticeship.”

She went onto say, “We currently have 84 CLAAS apprentices in total, and 19 of these started in September 2013 doing the IMI Awards Level 3 Extended Diploma in Land-based Technology (QCF). The apprentices from Scotland, Ireland and some of Northern England attend block sessions at SRUC Barony Campus, while those from the rest of England and Wales attend Reaseheath College.”

CLAAS provide specific industry training over four years to increase the apprentices’ experience and competency. Apprentices will visit college several weeks a year, including additional elements of training to contribute to their learning and development when preparing to enter the land-based sector.

Throughout the apprentices four years of studying, they’ll be given the opportunity to visit the CLAAS headquarters, in Germany. The visit includes tours of the main factories and museums, which is hugely beneficial and enjoyable for the apprentices as it gives them an insight into the background of the business. 

Kelly added, “At CLAAS, we try to keep the opportunities for apprentices as open as possible as we are keen to retain good staff for the long term. After apprentices complete the diploma they are then qualified as an Agricultural Engineer, and will usually remain with the company that they trained with. There are so many opportunities at CLAAS and within its dealer network to further a career and become a Service Manager, or even move into Sales.”

IMI Awards, which specialises in providing qualifications and accreditations to land-based, automotive and related sectors, developed the qualifications specifically to meet rigorous new training requirements stipulated by government.

Rob Gray, Head of Qualifications and Marketing for The IMI, said “We have been working closely with CLAAS and others within the sector to develop this programme which gives apprentices a solid grounding for their career. The agricultural sector is thriving and offers a lot of opportunity to young people with the right skills and abilities. The land-based sector is relatively new to IMI Awards but we have been able to use our experience in the automotive and related sectors to build courses to a standard where they have the full support and approval of the industry.”

If you are interested in offering IMI Awards land-based extended diplomas, please contact