An apprenticeship can be the first step towards a rewarding career in agricultural engineering A landbased engineering apprenticeship is the entry route to a worthwhile career in agricultural engineering, says the Institution of Agricultural Engineers during the UK’s Apprentice Week.

“It’s definitely a career that can offer school leavers the first step towards a defined career path”, said Chris Whetnall, Chief Executive of IAgrE.

IAgrE has recognised and approved a number of manufacturer’s apprenticeship schemes for dealer technicians. These are run in conjunction with manufacturers’ training courses and form part of the industry’s Landbased Technician Accreditation Scheme (LTA). The LTA scheme provides a clear career path within the sector. Membership of the Institution forms part of the scheme, as does registration with the Engineering Council as an Engineering Technician.

“One of the major benefits of IAgrE membership enjoyed by students and apprentices, is that it shows they have attained certain minimum standards of education and training. Membership of IAgrE (MIAgrE) is an internationally recognised professional qualification,” added Chris. .

Registration as an Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) can be a stepping stone to many other areas of landbased engineering. It is not unusual for technicians to move onto employment with manufacturers after a period of dealer experience. Some of the larger dealerships are large businesses in their own right and there will be promotion opportunities.

Indeed, the quality of training delivered in the landbased sector is such that sector’s technicians are widely sought after in all fields of engineering. Both NVQ and National Diploma based apprenticeship schemes, approved by IAgrE, are being offered by John Deere Ltd, Claas UK, CNH Ltd, JCB and AGCO through a variety of landbased colleges and training organisations.

“Government research has highlighted that employers also benefit. Hard working apprentices lead to a more satisfied, productive and more motivated workforce. But there is more to be done to promote the landbased sector as a whole as an attractive career option.” concluded Chris.