A COLLEGE in Denbighshire is sowing seeds to become a UK leader for education in agriculture.

Coleg Cambria's branch, Llysfasi College, in Pentrecelyn, near Ruthin has teamed up with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, to train the next generation of farm and machine workers.

Apprentices joining AGCO in the UK will be placed on the Technical Advanced Extended Diploma in Agriculture at the Pentrecelyn site, where they will be trained to use market leading farm equipment made by brands such as Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra.

The course is designed to allow young agricultural engineers to progress into positions within AGCO’s UK dealerships and has attracted interest from destinations as far away as the Orkney Islands.

The apprentices will attend the Denbighshire site three times a year over three years, in one-month blocks, while also working for AGCO dealers.

Iain Clarke, head of Llysfasi, says modules will cover a vast range of themes, from health and safety to service, repair, engines and diagnosis of hydraulic and transmission systems. He said: "It's a unique apprenticeship scheme and one that will be attractive to anyone wanting to enter the agriculture industry.

"AGCO will be providing its cutting-edge equipment for the students to use which, coupled with the leading expertise we have at Llysfasi, makes this an exciting opportunity for the apprentices joining us."

Mr Clarke added: "They will have the chance to achieve an industry-approved qualification at the same time as gaining fantastic hands-on practical skills through a manufacturer-backed scheme and earning a wage.

"AGCO is a trailblazer in its industry so this is a very exciting partnership for us."

Tony Linfield, training development manager at AGCO said: "Our partnership with Cambria will cater for AGCO dealers and apprentices in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, whilst those in England will continue to receive training through our established partner, Warwickshire College at Moreton Morrell.

"Apprenticeships across the UK have evolved dramatically over recent years resulting in increased demand. The appointment of an additional partner for the AGCO Apprenticeship Scheme is a direct response to this and fully embraces these changes."

For more information, email agco.training@cambria.ac.uk, call 01978 267912 or visit www.cambria.ac.uk