DAF Apprentices shine at annual graduation and awards event

20-01-2020, DAF Trucks UK

  • Apprentice of the Year Daniel Rayfield seals hat-trick of wins
  • Open day at DAF Apprentice College followed by awards event at Celtic Manor
  • DAF Apprenticeship Programme now in 24th year; over 1500 apprentices trained
  • “I am genuinely thrilled at the prospect of seeing these young men and women go on to enjoy long and fulfilling careers with DAF…” DAF Trucks MD, Laurence Drake

Daniel Rayfield has been crowned Apprentice of the Year 2019 at DAF Trucks’ annual graduation and awards event; this year at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport. Daniel, from DAF Dealer Harris DAF, has now completed his third and final year of the market leader’s highly-regarded DAF Apprenticeship Programme – recognised by many as the transport industry’s benchmark training syllabus for young people.

Daniel has now secured a hat-trick of victories having also earned the Apprentice of the Year title in his first and second years. The DAF Apprenticeship Programme, meanwhile, was itself a finalist at this year’s National Apprentice Awards having won the South East Regional Finals in the ‘Large Employer’ category.

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 40% of all DAF Dealer Technicians are a product of the programme.

Daniel was presented with his award by DAF Trucks Managing Director, Laurence Drake, and by Gary Carpenter, Managing Director at Harris DAF and Chairman of the DAF Dealer Service Panel. Ex-DAF Apprentice, Joe Tooker of MOTUS Commercials in Bristol, was also presented with a special High Achievement Award after gaining his IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Certificate of Management. Joe is an excellent example of DAF ‘graduate’ trainees who are looking increasingly to continue their professional development. Other ex-DAF Apprentices now occupy Dealer Principal roles, as well as senior Sales and Marketing positions.


Earlier in the day, apprentices and their family members visited the DAF Apprentice College, at City of Bristol College, where apprentices’ skills were tested on a variety of workshop tasks and where live demonstrations showcased the facility’s impressive array of equipment.

“I am genuinely thrilled at the prospect of seeing these young men and women go on to enjoy long and fulfilling careers with DAF Trucks and the DAF Dealer network,” said Laurence Drake, “the opportunities on offer are as exciting as they are varied. The team behind the DAF Apprenticeship Programme not only provide a first-class training curriculum, perhaps more importantly, they inspire and empower these impressive young people.”

Third Year Awards

Apprentice of the Year – Daniel Rayfield, Harris DAF

2nd – Matthew Hands, Brian Currie (Milton Keynes)

3rd – Matthew Shannon, North West Trucks (Huyton)

Second Year Awards

Apprentice of the Year – Thomas Sykes, HTC (Oxford)

2nd – Aaron Wild, Ford & Slater (Spalding)

3rd – Ben Mitchell, Kingdon Wessex DAF (Saltash)

First Year Awards

Apprentice of the Year – Elliot Dinnage, GB DAF (Gatwick)

2nd – Joe Drummond, Harris DAF (Grays)

3rd – Ross Strain, MOTUS Commercials (Cumbernauld)

Award of Merit (for most significant improvement)

Harry Baker, Foulgers CVS (Royston)

Parrys Commercials Ltd