TWO young Scots have led the field from a total of 27 young service technicians that formally graduated from the latest John Deere advanced apprenticeship programmes, which are run in partnership with national training provider ProVQ.

With no prospect of holding the traditional graduation ceremony, each graduate had their own individual ceremony at their employing dealership, where they were presented with a specially created hamper and their graduation certificate.

There were additional prizes awarded to four top apprentices.

* The Tech Apprentice of the Year award went to Matthew McPherson, from John Deere Forestry, Carlisle, who received a crystal plaque and an iPad. The runners-up were William Anderson, of J and S Montgomery, Beith, and William Smith, of Tallis Amos Group, Bibury.

* Parts Tech Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Corey Pilcher, from Farol, Midhurst, who received a crystal plaque and an iPad.

These annual awards were based on the trainees’ consistently high standards of work, both at their dealerships and at the training centre, over the three years of the apprenticeship.

“Successfully completing an apprenticeship is an achievement that deserves proper recognition and we were determined that these graduates should not miss out,” said John Deere's training centre manager, Allan Cochran.

The winning hampers were locally sourced to each dealership to help support local businesses during the pandemic, he added. "We used the John Deere overnight parts distribution network to deliver the hampers and certificates to the sponsoring dealers, so that all the graduates could be presented with their awards on the same day.”

Matthew McPherson was the first trainee from John Deere Forestry to join the apprenticeship scheme in 2016. A combination of workshop and in-the-field training enabled him to progress quickly to the role of field service engineer, a position he has held since 2018.

John Deere’s three-year Ag Tech and Turf Tech and two-year Parts Tech apprenticeships involve students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales and marketing.

The programmes lead to IMI Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering and Vehicle Parts Competence, and registration at LTA Intermediate level in the industry’s Landbased Training Accreditation scheme.

In subsequent years, qualified technicians undergo further education and adult training within the John Deere University programme, on a career path that can ultimately lead to the highest possible LTA Master Technician accreditation.

New student intakes are in September each year, apprentices need to be resident in the UK, sponsored by a John Deere dealer and aged 16 or over.

The standard programmes include on-the-job training and assessment as well as eight weeks each year at the John Deere Apprentice Training Centre, when possible.

Further details of the various programmes can be found at