CR Willcocks, one of the South West’s leading and longest running agriculture and garden machinery dealers, has long been a champion of apprenticeships and currently employs five. On the eve of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, CR Willcocks celebrates their success.
Andrew Joll, Service Director at CR Willcocks, said: “We have always employed apprentices. It’s an ongoing process with the intention of taking on more apprentices in the future. As a company we are very much focused on the future, as well as the present, and apprentices bring in energy and fresh ideas. It’s a great workforce motivator.”
An apprenticeship offers the opportunity not only to earn a salary and achieve a nationally recognised industry qualification, but also to receive workplace training working alongside experienced staff, learning valuable professional skills.
Of the five apprentices currently working at CR Willcocks, three are on an agricultural engineering course that is backed by New Holland, one of the leading global agricultural machinery manufacturers. The agricultural engineering course, part of which is spent at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, enables the apprentices to learn fundamental engineering skills as well as specialist training on modern New Holland machinery.
When an apprenticeship ends, there are continued opportunities to enhance career progression within the industry, such as attending specialist manufacturer training courses to keep up to date with the latest technology. There is also the opportunity to study further apprenticeship courses. A CR Willcocks apprentice who completed a three year Vehicle Parts & Maintenance course is now attending an Apprenticeship Level 3 Principles In Management and Leadership course at South Devon College.
Andrew Joll added: “An apprenticeship is something positive. It allows us to grow our own team, making them more aware of what our company is all about and where we are going. It’s an excellent way of developing a dedicated and knowledgeable staff that our customers require and deserve.”
A fifth apprentice is attending Bicton College (East Devon) as part of his Horticultural Engineering course, and CR Willcocks will be looking to employ another Agriculture Engineer apprentice this summer.
The 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 3rd to 7th February 2020 and is a week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country.