AGCO has announced a collaboration with the Salesian Agricultural College in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, and the Technological University of Shannon (TUS) to offer a technical qualification programme for aspiring Irish agricultural machinery technicians.

While there are a number of existing Agricultural Mechanisation courses nationwide, this programme, led by the well-known parent company of Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra brands, becomes Ireland’s first manufacturer-led technical qualification programme.

It is designated for trainee technicians working within Valtra, Fendt and Massey Ferguson dealer networks, to not only equip them with a relevant knowledge of farm machinery, but also a specialised knowledge of the AGCO brands and its software ecosystems in terms of diagnostics, telematics and GPS technology, etc.

Financial investment

As part of the partnership, AGCO has made a significant financial investment in training equipment for Pallaskenry College. This includes a number of tractors, GPS technology and telematics equipment, alongside the relevant diagnostics tools and equipment needed for training.

The first year of the programme is underway, with a total of 16 trainee technicians involved from AGCO dealers across Ireland.

Upon completion of the three-year programme, students will be awarded a Level 6 Higher Certificate in Engineering in Agricultural Mechanisation.

Candidates will also obtain the Green Cert qualification as part of the programme and have the opportunity to further progress their education within AGCO.

The programme, which is largely hands-on at Pallaskenry college, involves 36 weeks over three years, which breaks down to four weeks per semester. One day per week will be spent at TUS.

After significant interest, all of the 16 available places have been filled for year one.