The deal will see the company’s Ag Tech, Turf Tech and Parts Tech courses run by the UK’s largest work-based training provider of government funded and commercial learning programmes, responsible for training many of the country’s biggest organisations.
John Deere’s training programmes will be based at a new facility in Ruddington, near Nottingham and close to the company’s training centre at Langar.
John Deere training manager Neil Macer said: "VT Group is an independent training organisation which has dedicated resources and vast experience in apprenticeship training for many different, highly technical industries. This new partnership will enable us to establish exciting and innovative programmes aimed at recruiting and retaining the best possible apprentices for our dealer network.
"With technology making continual advances, the imminent launch of new industry qualifications and the requirement for ever higher standards, we believe that these new programmes offer the most suitable career development path to all our current and future apprentices."
Apprentices attending each of the new Ag, Turf and Parts Tech training programmes will work on up to date John Deere equipment, using company approved training material, while also following the national curriculum in order to achieve current and new national qualifications.
Workplace assessors will also work with the sponsoring dealers to develop and record individual skills.
Technicians graduating through the current programmes achieve the BAGMA/City & Guilds of London Institute 4025 Agricultural/Groundcare Service Engineers NVQ Level 2 & 3 Certificates or the City & Guilds of London Institute 4009 Vehicle Parts Operations NVQ Level 2 Certificate.
Ag and Turf Tech graduates also achieve the City & Guilds 394/2 Technical Certificate at Level 2 & 3.
Successful completion of a fourth year qualifies technicians for the John Deere Diploma and prepares them to reach LTA2 level in the industry’s Landbased Technician Accreditation scheme.
Ag Tech was the first such scheme to be introduced in the UK, in partnership with Brooksby Melton College, 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, 311 apprentices altogether have graduated through all three schemes.