Al wins apprentice award

A young service technician is the best in Britain.

Alistair Baillie was named Agricultural and Turf Apprentice of the Year 2014 in the latest John Deere Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, run by national training provider Babcock.

Alistair, from dealer Thomas Sherriff & Co Ltd in Alnwick, was among a group of third-year students who received their certificates at the John Deere Forum visitor centre in Mannheim, Germany, during a specially arranged visit to the company’s tractor and cab factories and European Parts Distribution Centre.

The presentations were made by Deere & Company’s regional training delivery manager Dr Lutz Schueppenhauer, John Deere Limited training manager Richard Halsall and marketing manager Chris Wiltshire, and Babcock programme manager Guy Schornig-Moore.

Alistair received a crystal plaque, a certificate and vouchers for workshop tools worth £250.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to guide Alistair Baillie through the last three years, he’s been a model student,” said vocational learning advisor Steve Burke. “Throughout, Alistair has always produced quality work on time and to the standard required, and the accolade of Apprentice of the Year is just reward for his efforts, not only for year three, but from the outset.

“Thomas Sherriff as his employer also deserve a mention – they have wholeheartedly embraced the John Deere apprentice programme and supported not only Alistair, but all of the apprentices across their dealerships.”

Thomas Sherriff branch manager Andy Hedgecock added: “The John Deere engineering apprenticeship programme has given our new apprentices an excellent training platform.

“Alistair has shown great enthusiasm for the programme, combined with a positive approach to the training workload.

“He has matured into a genuine asset to our company and we are all very proud of his achievements and success.”