Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

DAF UK apprentice takes Gold at WorldSkills final

DAF apprentice Mathew Hands, from DAF dealer Brian Currie in Bedford, has emerged victorious at the national WorldSkills UK National Final at the NEC Birmingham.

Hands’ Gold medal completed an outstanding one-two for the market-leading DAF brand with Claire Weller from Adams Morey in Portsmouth picking up the Silver medal – both sharing top spots on the podium in the Heavy Vehicle Technology category.

DAF apprentices Jonathan Dudley, Clare Weller and gold medal winner, Mathew Hands, at the World Skills UK National Final

WorldSkills UK is a government-funded initiative which promotes apprenticeships and technical education with the ambition of inspiring young people to consider a wide range of skilled, vocational career pathways. WorldSkills UK Live is Britain’s largest apprenticeships, skills and careers event covering four core industry sectors; Health, Hospitality & Lifestyle, Construction & Infrastructure, Engineering & Technology and Digital, Business & Creative.

Mathew Hands and Claire Weller, and also Jonathan Dudley of MOTUS Commercials in Hereford (all products of the DAF Apprenticeship Programme), performed admirably at the National Finals.

DAF Trucks enjoyed a significant presence at the event, with its dealership-style exhibition stand kitted-out with workshop equipment and live demonstrations, and against the backdrop of DAF’s crowd-pulling 530bhp XF Showtrekker tractor unit. Apprentice teams from DAF Dealer groups Ford & Slater and MOTUS Commercials played a key in role in demonstrating to students the huge range of job opportunities that exist in a modern truck dealership.

“We’re extremely proud of all three of our DAF Apprentices at the WorldSkills UK Final,” said DAF Trucks’ newly-appointed managing director, Laurence Drake, “and we’re especially thrilled for Mathew and Claire bringing home Gold and Silver medals. The WorldSkills UK event has really put DAF front-of-mind for the thousands of students who visited our stand,” he added, “and the excellent work from our MOTUS and Ford & Slater apprentice teams helped deliver a clear message that DAF is a dynamic, forward-thinking and technologically advanced manufacturer. We’re investing in young people,” he said, “imparting skills into the next generation of employees and future-proofing the business.”

Now in its 24th year, the DAF Apprenticeship Programme continues to produce both highly skilled workshop Technicians and qualified Service and Parts personnel, setting them up for successful careers within the DAF organisation. To date, well in excess of 2,000 young people have graduated through the DAF Apprenticeship Programme, while approximately 40 per cent of all DAF Dealer Technicians are a product of the programme.