One of the highlights forming part of the training received by many of the apprentices at Massey Ferguson Dealerships in all parts of the world is to visit the company’s principal manufacturing plant in France – Beauvais.
Those coming from the UK were briefed on what they could expect to see and learn by Training Manager Tony Linfield, who is based at AGCO’s UK headquarters at Abbey Park, near Stoneleigh.
Explaining the background, he says: “The AGCO Apprenticeship Scheme is the principal apprenticeship route available to AGCO’s Dealership network – a pathway established with the initial intake in 1999.
“We’re very proud of all the successful apprentices who have participated and gone on to establish themselves at AGCO Dealerships. Their success in completing level three of their training reveals that they have the potential to go on gaining knowledge by attending further specialist training courses at the AGCO Academy Training Centre.”
The most recent Beauvais visit saw eight apprentices from Dealerships across the UK make their way across the Channel.
“From AGCO’s point of view, the Beauvais visit is a way to celebrate the apprentices’ achievements, initially by hosting a dinner at one of the many local restaurants. This is followed the next day by a tour of the factory, giving the apprentices the opportunity to engage and see the many processes involved in the manufacture of transmission systems, for example.”
So what did the latest group make of Massey Ferguson’s powerhouse in France?
Matt Thomas joined the Thurlow Nunn Standen Dealership in Attleborough, Norfolk, straight from school. Now 24, he was looking forward to the Beauvais visit. The whole manufacturing facility, he thinks, is impressive. “It was very interesting to see all the processes that go into making the parts that we use every day,” he says, “…and all made in the same place.”
Making the trip from Peacock & Binnington’s Louth branch, in Lincolnshire, was Simon Oliver. Like Matt, he started working for his local MF dealership on leaving school. “The visit gave us an excellent picture of how everything is put together,” he reports. “We were given a good insight into the manufacturing side of the business and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else who can make the trip.”
Possibly the longest journey was made by Mark Kinghorn, apprentice at the Berwick-upon-Tweed Dealership Ancroft Tractors. Mark’s first impression was of the sheer scale of the manufacturing operation at Beauvais. “It was good to see,” he says, “very interesting to see exactly how the different parts are made.
Ancroft Tractors is a strong supporter of the AGCO Apprentices Scheme. “Until recently, we had three lads on the scheme. Two of them have now finished, one having been named Apprentice of the Year,” says Service Manager Gary Henderson.”