The DAF Trucks National Dealer Apprentice Programme has once again honoured its graduates in a recent award ceremony held in Bristol, where the apprentice programme is based.
The awards ceremony was attended by over 400 guests from across the commercial vehicle industry, including senior management from DAF Trucks, their dealers, the City of Bristol College, Skillnet and associated organisation such as the IMI, SOE and the Learning Skills Council.
Ross Humphries of Watts Truck & Van – Cardiff was named as third year winner, Shane Marrows of Ford & Slater DAF in Kings Lynn awarded second year winner, while first year winner went to James Turner of Wessex DAF.
Prior to the ceremony, the top ten performing apprentices from each academic year were put through their paces at DAF’s national training centre in Bristol, going head-to-head in a series of timed tasks to test their ability. A team of assessors from DAF’s training partner Skillnet and City of Bristol College were on hand to judge the competition.
After Sales Services Manager for DAF Trucks, Tony Shepherd, who is responsible for the National Dealer Apprentice Programme said: "DAF is committed to the highest standards of education throughout our network and the apprentice programme allows us to ensure we are developing technicians who are fully versed in the technology of the future".
Investment in the DAF Apprentice Programme is viewed as a high priority for DAF in the UK. The full range of DAF vehicles are available at Bristol College for apprentices to work on, with the most recent addition announced at this year’s Awards – an LF Hybrid vehicle donated by Leyland Trucks.
DAF apprentices attend City of Bristol College for a total of 28 weeks of training during the course of the three year programme. The course combines practical and theoretical study at college with on-the-job training at a DAF dealership. At the end of the programme successful apprentices emerge with an Advanced Apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. This includes an IMI Level 3 Diploma and IMI Level 3 NVQ in Vehicle Maintenance & Repair (Heavy Vehicles), a recognised welding certificate, and a certificate of key skills in communication and information technology.
The DAF Trucks National Dealer Apprentice Programme has been in operation since 1995 and since then has trained over 1,200 apprentices. The programme is managed for DAF Trucks by Skillnet Automotive Academy with the training carried out at the City of Bristol College.