‘Strong’ Irish interest in Claas apprenticeship programme

With the ‘Leaving Cert’ looming large and apprenticeships coming to the fore, two programmes offered by Claas UK may be of interest to Irish students contemplating their future careers.

There are currently nine Irish apprentices active on the Claas Land-based Engineering apprenticeship programme.

A four-year course that has been in place since 2001, it comprises college-based training and practical experience in a Claas dealership. Apprentices attend either SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) Barony in Dumfries or Reaseheath College in Cheshire, depending on the dealer location.

There is a block-release college system in operation, with apprentices staying on campus. Additional specialist courses are provided by Claas UK. The 2017 intake included the first female service engineer apprentice at SRUC Barony.

In 2014, Claas also introduced a parts, sales and marketing three-year apprenticeship programme – in conjunction with Reaseheath College.

To date, a total of 280 young people have enrolled in the Claas apprentice programme. On completion of the programme, apprentices are invited to attend a graduation ceremony at Claas UK in Saxham, with family members, to celebrate their achievement.

After graduation, apprentices can avail of continuous development via the Claas Academy in Saxham. They also have the opportunity to travel to the Claas headquarters in Germany.

Candidates are expected to have a keen interest in engineering or mechanics along with a positive, self-motivated attitude.

Academy manager Andrew Dunne said that Irish apprentices are an integral part of the whole apprenticeship programme. “They ensure that we at Claas and our dealer network deliver the highest possible standards of customer service.

“To do that, you need the highest possible standards of training and future-proof staff.

The product complexity is ever-growing and will continue to grow; hence the need and desire for our apprenticeship programme to be there to grow our own staff.

“To have staff growing with our products and customers is invaluable. Ireland right now has a healthy talent pool of keen and able future staff. Our apprenticeship programme allows us to tap into this at grass-roots level.”