We’re not content just to tick boxes — something our apprentice technicians know well! This week, five of our current apprentices have packed their bags to broaden their horizons with the Ramsey Bros Apprentice Exchange Program.
Fully supported by Case IH and run four times throughout the year, this week-long exchange gives apprentices the opportunity to transfer between the service departments of Ramsey Bros at Murray Bridge, Riverton, Cleve, Wudinna and Cummins. It exposes them to different machinery, various seasonal patterns during the year, new mentors and diverse ways of thinking — adding to the many benefits of working on some of the biggest and most advanced machinery around.
“These exchange weeks are a unique opportunity for huge growth for each of our technicians — it’s invaluable,” says Murray Bridge Branch Manager Hamish Thornley.
“They step out of their comfort zones, working in different workshops and heading out into the field with senior technicians to work on machinery they don’t necessarily work on at their home branch”.
“Not only are they meeting new people and facing different challenges, they’re potentially tackling different forms of agriculture and conditions that may be particular to that location. For example, our dealership at Murray Bridge services a diverse farming area covering broadacre, horticulture, intensive livestock, poultry and viticulture, whereas the Eyre Peninsula is predominantly broadacre. An exchange between these two areas will expose the apprentices to a whole different form of farming, and importantly, the unique machinery required in these operations,” Hamish explains.
“Ramsey Bros is one of the very few agricultural machinery businesses that can offer this kind of opportunity to young South Australians. Technicians are the backbone of modern agriculture and we need to continue to look for new ways to develop their skills” says Ramsey Bros Group Aftersales Executive Scott Wendland.
“A bonus is also the chance to learn from various experienced technicians who all have different skill sets and years of experience behind them. We are fortunate to have some of the best technical staff in the industry and the opportunity for our apprentices to work one-on-one with each of them is a great way to fast-track their learning. Diverse experiences are key to development and there’s no doubt these lessons will stick with them for life,” Hamish says.
The benefits of the exchange program are clear to third-year apprentice and winner of the 2022 Apprentice of the Year, Jackson Humphries. “It was great to have the chance to fit new parts and make adaptations to machines that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to work on.”
And while each of the senior technicians have left their mark on Jackson’s experience, a couple stand out. “I’ve got something different from each exchange, but the service manager in Cummins had a really simple way of explaining things, and he made it easy to learn in a way that’s stuck with me. Different people think differently and it helps heaps to learn from different mentors,” Jackson says.
At the end of each exchange, the service manager of the host branch assesses the apprentice, giving them the feedback to help highlight strengths and opportunities for development. “It’s a great chance for our apprentices to connect with other members of the Ramsey Bros network. It gives them a whole new group of experts and friends they can call on down the track — a bonus of working in a larger team that wants to see you succeed,” Hamish says.
If you know someone who’s passionate about advanced machinery or electronics and wants a career they love, give them the heads up on a Ramsey Bros apprenticeship.