Plumpton College students to gain practical experience following partnership

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Agco dealer Crawfords Group has announced a strategic partnership with Plumpton College in East Sussex to ensure that students and apprentices gain practical experience and training on modern tractors with the latest technology.

The three-year agreement means that students will have access to the latest Valtra tractors for technical and operator training, with the first delivery of two N5 and a G5 having happened in the middle of May.

“We already enjoyed an excellent relationship with Plumpton College as some of our own staff were trained there,” explained Crawfords Group business director, Alan Haines. “There are currently two apprentices from the college working at our Billingshurst, West Sussex depot. They are excellent and clearly benefit from the mix of college and dealer workshop-based training.

“The Crawford family and business managers all believe strongly that working with and encouraging young people is key to the future success of our agricultural industry. For many years we have worked with colleges employing apprentices and engaged with Young Farmers Clubs.”

The agreement will be mutually beneficial, with students gaining experience and the dealer staff having access to the tractors for customer demonstrations and operator familiarisation on the college farm.

Regional Sales Manager and Valtra brand manager, James Parrett was reportedly instrumental in setting up the new partnership. He explained that the Crawfords Group already enjoyed a strong relationship with the college having supplied machinery and equipment.

“We supplied two Manitou handlers and a Fendt 724 Vario tractor in recent years and most recently, supplied a new T175eV with Loader for farm use.  We have also gladly donated a large amount of PPE including clothing and wellington boots to make sure students had the correct equipment for working with the livestock.

“Training on outdated machines clearly wasn’t ideal preparation for students going on to work with modern contracting operations or on larger farms, so we approached AGCO for assistance putting together a three-year tractor deal.”

“Loaning these tractors will benefit Crawfords Group as much as the students,” observed Crawfords territory sales manager and former Plumpton College student James Strivens. “Tractors used for driver training were the same ones that I drove as a student in 2010, and they had been at the college for several years then.

Plumpton College Principal, Jeremy Kerswell added: “Industry partnerships are critical. We have worked with Crawfords Group and other dealers for many years, but this long-term strategic partnership is different. The dealer has similar values to us, and we see it as a perfect match. Regular access to the latest machinery means that our students will be ‘current’, equipped with skills at the forefront of these technical advances and making them more attractive to modern farming operations and dealers.”

One tractor will be based in the college training workshop for learning about routine maintenance and daily checks, while the other machines will be used for operator training on the farm.

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