A great future and a great place to work!
One of the biggest challenges that many employers find difficult to handle, is employing and retaining high quality staff. Employment costs and training for entry level candidates can be significant, before a fully trained and qualified technician starts producing income or even covering their overheads. Here at TAG where we have branches from the West Midlands to West Wales, we are breaking the mould and taking a different approach to retained employment. TAG is a major agricultural dealership, where our main franchises include John Deere farm machinery and ISUZU pick-up trucks. We have developed a programme called TAG Academy and it’s aimed at enhancing employment opportunities and long term employee potential.
TAG Academy was developed by Managing Director, Ben Tallis and Group Service Manager, Richard Allard and structures apprentices to encourage maximum success rates from entry level through to graduation. Once qualifications have been achieved, candidates get the opportunity to experience a six month international exchange programme, working at a similar establishment in New Zealand.
“Our aim is to present our company as being a great place to work, stated Rich Allard. “In reality, It really is a great place to work, but young people entering our industry, don’t really know for sure what it is they really would like to achieve from a career. Initially potential candidates are taken on for work experience to see if they have the aptitude for this kind of work. We usually have a lot of work experience students which gives us the opportunity to select those that have the right ingredients to succeed.”
The programme is managed in conjunction with Hartpury Agricultural College, Gloucestershire for our agricultural apprentices or Pershore College of Horticulture, Worcestershire for our turf department apprentices and ProVQ Training, which is based in Nottingham and carries out most of the John Deere University technician training programmes. Candidates spend three days a week at college and two days a week at their place of employment and are assigned a senior technician as a mentor as they progress through the Land-Based Technican Accreditation (LTA) scheme. It is part of a five year training programme from which participants can move forward attaining Master Technician level or LTA4 accreditation for successful candidates.
“Apprentices are monitored through the entire process with regular feedback because we want to ensure that we are investing in the right people, commented Rich, “if they don’t cut the mustard, then we have to let them go. Our aim is to encourage home-grown apprentices to become fully qualified service technicians. In the future we would like to see ”
Reciprocal exchange with the New Zealand dealer means that students then get the opportunity to gain experience in the same role in a different company and country Previous exchangee Ashleigh Ridge, finished her Parts Apprenticeship and also attended Polytech in New Zealand studying Office Management. “I would recommend this to anyone just starting out, said Ashleigh. “You get a job, an education and an opportunity to see the other side of the world. It’s been a really great experience working in the UK, and the chance to visit London, Birmingham, The Royal Welsh Show and lots of other places and get paid for it.”
The success of the Tallis Amos Group is down to a number of highly important factors, of which customer satisfaction is arguably the most important. Good quality franchised equipment, backed-up by a solid After-Sales Service, consisting of Parts supply and Service repair and staff capabilities will ensure continued growth. Only by employing high quality staff, who are fully trained, qualified and accredited, can further growth be achieved. It’s one thing to expand and increase business, but it’s even more challenging to maintain total efficiency. “Retention of qualified staff is an absolute must.” concluded Richard.
We currently have no apprenticeship vacancies. New intake starts again in January for apprenticeships starting in September.