Leading agricultural engineering companies are supporting Reaseheath College’s efforts to raise the bar for training within the industry.
Construction of a £7million Advanced Agricultural Engineering Academy will begin shortly at the Nantwich, Cheshire, college which, when completed, will be one of the most sophisticated education centres of its type in Britain. Partners in the initiative include CLAAS, CaseIH, New Holland, JCB, Amazone and Kuhn, many of which have donated advanced engineering machinery and equipment.
The new specialist facility will enable Reaseheath lecturers to deliver training in the latest crop production systems, including technical training in precision farming, to agricultural engineering students and science subjects such as agronomy and data mapping to agricultural students.
Features will include workshops and a technology suite equipped for the teaching of computer controlled automation and high end precision engineering. Equipment will include robotics, tractor simulation, GPS and other advanced agricultural engineering systems. New designated driving areas will be provided for practical training.
Undergraduates on the college’s current agricultural engineering degrees and Level 3 Diploma programmes will be the first to benefit. Once the centre is fully operational, which will be during the 2016 -2017 academic year, Reaseheath will look to expand its agricultural engineering courses to include Level 4 and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for those already working in the industry.
Additionally, the college plans to cater for Advanced Apprenticeships in agricultural and construction plant engineering through the teaching of advanced farming techniques and management. There are also hopes that the centre may ultimately become the GPS training school for the UK.
Said Head of Agricultural Engineering Peter Creagh: “The new centre will combine all aspects of agricultural innovation, mechanisation and advanced engineering under one roof. It will allow us to teach and develop efficient modern farming techniques including precision land management and precision farming. This will enable us to meet increased demand for specialist training from our industry partners, and to equip our students with the skills they will need for their future careers.”