Every year, the Motor Vehicle Technology Centre plays host to the Annual DAF Apprentice of The Year competition. Spread over three days, this event tests the dedication, skills, and passion of our apprentices in the world of commercial vehicles.
This year, the event took place last week in the lead-up to the DAF graduation ceremony on 11 October.
The competition brings together a select group of top-tier students who have demonstrated exceptional prowess in their apprenticeship journey.
Addressing the apprentices, Luke Reid, Head of Department – Motor Vehicle & DAF Apprenticeships, said: “You’ve all been selected from your peer group. It was tough to select the ten students to take part this year, as it is every year.
“There is nothing you haven’t done before and you will be assessed by the staff members. Remember that this feeds into the graduation event on 11 October which is in Nottingham; you’ll all be invited to that, and the top three will receive some pretty decent prizes from DAF.
“There are very few students who are selected to compete for all three years in a row in this competition, very few students that achieve DAF Apprentice of The Year three years in a row. Those that do are the ones that go on to compete at World skills, and then win World skills in Dubai.”
Once the briefing was over and Luke’s inspirational words had drawn to a close, the students commenced the tasks.
Divided into two groups, Group A competing in the morning and Group B in the afternoon – these individuals tackled a series of four tasks in the workshop. The event wasn’t just an opportunity to showcase their practical skills; it also involved an additional rigorous knowledge test that challenged their theoretical understanding.
Lecturers were on hand to observe the candidates, testing their knowledge and assessing their aptitude as they progressed through each task.
Dan Sprenglewski, DAF Apprentice Programme Manager at Skillnet Limited, was in attendance over the three days, overseeing the competition.
Candidates were allocated 15 minutes at each station to exhibit their skills and expertise.
These stations included a chassis task, an electrical task, a maintenance task and an engine task. The tasks presented situations previously practised and prepared for by the apprentices, but the specifics of the competition tasks remained a mystery until the event unfolded.
In addition to the four practical tasks, the competition included a multi-choice paper that examined their technical and product knowledge, a 60-minute challenge where candidates showcased their theoretical understanding.
The top 10 students from a pool of 130 apprentices at City of Bristol College were handpicked to compete. The criteria were rigorous, and narrowing down the contenders was a tough decision due to the high calibre of students.
The grand finale of the event is the DAF graduation ceremony, where the top three candidates are announced. These exceptional individuals are recognised for their dedication, skills, and contributions.