Across the UK and Ireland, there are several hundred thousand farms which grow 60% of the food that we eat.
There is no denying that the UK and Ireland have the resources needed to grow quality produce, but significant problems are currently arising from an inability to attract people with the right skills.
In order for the industry to thrive, the farming sector must focus on attracting graduates interested in pursuing a career in the farming sector.
In recent years, this has become increasingly important because of the technological changes that are currently rolling out across the market.
To support this cause, Kubota UK announced the Kubota Dealer Apprenticeship Programme, which enables apprentices to work in the agriculture sector and study everything from basic engineering skills to the latest technological advancements.
To find out the benefits of a scheme like this, Kubota sat down with Matt Davis, a technical apprentice at Kubota UK and the winner of last year’s City & Guilds Learner of the Year award.
Kubota Dealer Apprenticeship Programme
What made you decide to choose a career in land-based industries?
Engineering has always appealed to me as a career; the variety of machinery is vast and I get to work with everything from handheld two-stroke equipment all the way through to mowers, utility vehicles and tractors – and from compact machines to large agricultural ones.
After researching the area and spotting the horticultural and agricultural issues facing the sector, I wanted to learn more and make a positive impact on the future of the industry.
What has Kubota UK helped you to achieve?
Since joining Kubota UK in October 2015, there have been many challenges that I have had to face and the company has always given me all the resources I have needed to overcome them.
Throughout my apprenticeship, I have been required to complete a range of tasks such as engine and transmission strip-downs, or to diagnose and repair faults.
At first these tasks seemed daunting, but Kubota UK’s support helped me to grow in confidence as an engineer, capable of tackling similar tasks in the future.
Would you recommend the Kubota Dealer Apprenticeship Programme?
Anybody looking into an apprenticeship should definitely consider applying for a place on a Kubota programme. The resources and support that the company provides allow you to push your boundaries on a daily basis to achieve your potential.
The end goal is to graduate as a well-rounded, competent engineer who can cope with the day-to-day rigours of the role in the agriculture sector.
I would not hesitate in recommending these courses to anybody who is looking for a career in this space.
What have been the most memorable moments of your apprenticeship so far?
The highlight of my apprenticeship was most definitely in March 2016, when I was given the opportunity to attend a two-week training course at Kubota’s factory in Sakai, Japan.
Seeing the factory and visiting Japan with Kubota was an experience I will never forget. The knowledge I gained from that course has proved invaluable over the last few years.
How has an apprenticeship through Kubota UK developed you as a person?
Since joining Kubota UK the nature of the job – with the constant interaction with customers – has really helped to develop my confidence in delivering customer service, as well as dealing with issues and finding appropriate solutions to challenges.
These are skills that I know will be helpful both now and later in my career.