Parent & Guardian Information


Programme Management

DAF - What can I expect

DAF work in partnership with Skillnet, and jointly manage the DAF National Dealer Apprenticeship Programme. The Apprenticeship Programme is designed to give young people, like your son or daughter, the chance to train and qualify as a Technician working on some of the most modern and sophisticated trucks on the road.

Heavy Vehicle Technician

DAF - What can I expect

DAF’s Technicians are part of a highly skilled workforce that is committed to quality. With the rapid increase in the technology and complexity of today’s trucks, first class training in the servicing and maintenance of these vehicles has become more important than ever.

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An Advanced Apprenticeship is the automotive industry training programme designed to take a young person through to a Level 3 Technical Qualification.

The programme has been based on the traditional Apprenticeship model of a young person employed by a company to learn a trade or skill through a mixture of ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ training.

The DAF Trucks Advanced Apprenticeship programme involves:

  • ‘On the job’ training plus work experience during employment at a DAF dealership.
  • ‘Off the job’ training at the DAF Trucks Centre of Learning at City of Bristol College.
  • Vocational Competence Qualification (VCQ) or Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ), a competency based qualification that is nationally recognised.
  • Technical Certificate – A theory based qualification.
  • Functional/Essential/Core Skills – measuring specific levels of Maths, English and use of Information Technology.
  • An annual Apprentice of the Year competition for the top 10 Apprentices from each year group.

Programme Funding

This programme is funded in part through the Government’s Advanced Apprenticeship programme via the Skills Funding Agency (England), Skills Development (Scotland), Welsh Assembly Government (Wales) and The Department of Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland). The remainder is funded by DAF and its dealer network.

Length of Programme

The programme is three years in duration with 28 weeks spent at the DAF Trucks Centre of Learning in Bristol,usually in two week attendance blocks.

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DAF - What is an advanced apprenticeship

DAF - programme length and funding


DAF - Attendance at college

All successful applicants will be required to attend DAF’s Centre of Learning at City of Bristol College on block release to enable them to complete their Technical Certificate and Functional/Essential/Core Skills. Travel arrangements are made by DAF as Apprentices can be based in any of their UK dealer network.

Travel by train

Anyone travelling to the college by train will be issued with a railcard* and have a return train ticket sent to them via their company so they do not incur any travelling expenses. This train ticket entitles them to travel from an agreed station close to home on a specific train, through to Bristol Parkway. The station is only a five minute walk from the college campus and a map is sent with the ticket showing how to get from the station to the college. Collection from the train station can be arranged if required.

* The railcard issued by the programme can be used by learners for a discount on other rail travel too.

Travel by plane

If your son or daughter is required to fly to Bristol, all travel arrangements will be made on his/her behalf. Prior to travelling, a flight booking confirmation will be sent to the dealership so they can print the boarding pass. On arrival at Bristol airport, learners must go to the designated taxi desk and quote the code given on the Joining Instructions. Taxis will take the learners to their accommodation or to college, dependent on their day of arrival and their timetable. When staying in accommodation during their training, Apprentices will be collected and taken to the college each morning by coach, and returned back to their accommodation at the end of each day.

First day at college

During their first day at college, each Apprentice is given an induction pack that includes address of their accommodation, important contact numbers and DAF merchandise. They will receive a presentation from the DAF Account Manager at the college, the DAF Operations Manager from Skillnet and a Senior Manager from DAF Trucks Limited. Each Apprentice will be given a map to show where the local pick-up and drop-off points are in relation to their accommodation. At the end of the first day the college transport takes each person to the door of their accommodation and introduces them to their landlady, where they will receive a home-cooked meal. In the mornings, after breakfast, Apprentices will make their way to the pick-up point where the college transport will then take them directly to college.

During the day refreshments are available and lunch is provided in the college’s modern canteen facilities.

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Whilst attending college for training all DAF Apprentices will also receive life skills training, in areas such as, health and fitness, alcohol and drugs awareness, e-safety, volunteering, bullying and harassment awareness, financial management, equality & diversity.

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DAF - Home stay

DAF - Transport

Safe and comfortable ‘homestay’ accommodation

When your son or daughter attends ‘off the job’ training at the DAF Centre of Learning, they will usually be accommodated in ‘homestay’ accommodation.


During this stay they will be representing DAF and their own dealership, therefore we ask them to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Clear guidance is given at their induction. Payment for this accommodation is covered by the programme and there is no cost to the Apprentice.

Pastoral care

All residential accommodation for learners during ‘off the job’ training is selected by City of Bristol College using a standard checklist of minimum requirements aimed at ensuring safe and comfortable accommodation for all learners. Each homestay has contact numbers for the college staff and will contact them in the event of an emergency. All learners will have an emergency contact number for the College who have responsibility for their pastoral care during ‘off the job’ training.

Alcohol and illegal drugs

Learners under the age of 18 are reminded that the purchase and consumption of alcohol is not permitted during their block release period. Any learner found in possession of illegal drugs whilst on a DAF Apprenticeship programme course will be sent home. Dealer Service Managers will be immediately informed of any situations during residential training that are believed to be of concern.

Private vehicles

Transport is provided from the accommodation to the college. Learners should not use their own vehicles to get from the accommodation to the college.


In the event of sickness during residential training, the homestay host or a representative from the college will ensure the appropriate medical treatment is sought. The college encourages learners to provide feedback on their accommodation, which we evaluate in order to make changes where necessary.

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For learners needing accommodation, breakfast and evening meals are included. DAF will provide lunch whilst at the training centre.

Grievance procedure

Learners are encouraged, on their induction, to raise any workplace grievance with their employer. If necessary they can speak to the DAF Apprenticeship Programme Contract Manager, the Chief Executive of Skillnet or, ultimately, the Business Services Manager of DAF Trucks. Any grievance from employers regarding our service should be directed to the Contract Manager on 01923 216 171

Equipment and clothing

Whilst at the training centre, DAF will provide the necessary tools and equipment along with exclusive clothing which must be worn whilst attending college. Black trousers and shoes must also be worn. Your son or daughter should bring their own pens, paper and drawing equipment.

When training takes place in the workshop it is vital that overalls and safety boots are worn. Overalls will be provided by the dealer but your son or daughter must bring their own safety boots. Failure to wear appropriate safety clothing will result in your son or daughter being unable to train in the workshop.

Workplace learner reviews

Skillnet Assessors will visit all Apprentices in their workplace every six to eight weeks. The purpose of the visit is to track progress, engage the learner and his/her supervisor in a review process, set an action plan for the period before the next review and identify any additional support needs. This visit is an essential part of the training and Skillnet uses a number of assessment and progression methods to ensure the link between ‘off the job’ training and workplace learning is strong, thereby ensuring everyone benefits from the course. Skillnet Assessors will visit all Apprentices in their workplace every six to eight weeks. The purpose of the visit is to track progress, engage the learner and his/her supervisor in a review process, set an action plan for the period before the next review and identify any additional support needs. This visit is an essential part of the training and Skillnet uses a number of assessment and progression methods to ensure >the link between ‘off the job’ training and workplace learning is strong, thereby ensuring everyone benefits from the course.


Apprentices are covered by Employer Liability Insurance. A copy of this insurance certificate should be displayed at the dealership where the Apprentice is working.

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions should be set out for an employee within eight weeks of starting work. This applies to all Apprentices. It is vital for all involved that terms and conditions are clearly laid out to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. It is recommended that your son or daughter takes time out to discuss these with their supervisor at the dealer to ensure a thorough understanding of their employer’s expectations.


Your son or daughter has full employment status; this means they will be paid by the DAF dealership they are working for. As a member of staff they must work under the conditions laid down by the company. The dealer has agreed that they should follow a training programme and will release them to attend ‘off the job’ training at the DAF Centre of Learning.

With the significant investment being made in developing an Apprentice they have the expectation that your son or daughter will make full use of their training time.

Equal opportunities

Skillnet ensures recruitment and selection is a fair and open process and that treatment of all learners is the same. At the recruitment stage, Skillnet collates information from applicants so that we can monitor the effectiveness of our equality and diversity policy. This allows us to identify trends and ensure under-represented groups are able to access the application process. In supplying applicants to companies for interview, Skillnet always aim to put forward the most suitable person/ persons for the position offered, in terms of skills, abilities and potential. All learners are questioned during the review process about harassment or bullying issues. All complaints and grievances are investigated through Skillnet’s Customer Complaints and Appeals Procedure.

Hours of work/holidays

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills produces a booklet outlining all the conditions of the working time regulations. Further information can be obtained via their website Or by telephoning 020 7215 5000.

The regulations apply to most workers aged 16 and over and affect all learners on the DAF Apprenticeship Programme.

Attendance Reporting

The employer is responsible for maintaining accurate attendance records as evidence of the learner’s attendance at work. This recording system may be audited under requirements set by the Government. The college will keep records of attendance whilst the Apprentice is on ‘off the job’ training; any instances of lateness or non-attendance will be reported to the DAF dealership.


As an employee, the Apprentice is subject to whatever arrangements the DAF dealership has for notification and payment for sickness.

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DAF - equipment and clothing

DAF - workplace reviews

DAF - insurance

DAF - Equal Opportunities

DAF - Hours of Work


DAF - Functional Skills

DAF - Functional Skills Assessment

DAF - Extra Support

Functional Skills also known as Essential Skills or Core Skills have to be achieved as part of the DAF Apprenticeship programme. They cover:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

This requirement has been introduced by the Government following industry concerns that a significant number of young people were leaving school without acceptable knowledge levels in these areas.

Does every learner need to complete Functional Skills?

Some young people cover Functional Skills at school. If the Apprentice presents Skillnet with a Functional Skills certificate at the appropriate level, they will be exempt from this element of the Apprenticeship. Likewise, if a learner has certain GCSE grades or equivalent, they may become exempt from doing the Functional Skills tests. Most learners will need to produce a portfolio of evidence confirming Functional Skills ability.

How are Functional Skills assessed?

All learners doing Functional Skills need to produce evidence of their ability to meet the standards set in the subjects of Maths, English and ICT. Their Assessor will guide them in this.Those learners not exempt from Functional Skills tests by virtue of their GCSE grades will need to sit Functional Skills tests. These are externally set tests that are on-line and are normally sat at the time of ‘off the job’ training. Skillnet and the College schedule these tests at appropriate stages of the Apprenticeship. They will ensure all learners who require tuition to successfully complete their Functional Skills receive it as part of a structured programme at College.

Is additional support available for Functional Skills?

Some learners cope very well with the technical and practical aspects of the Apprenticeship, but do have difficulty in Functional Skills. Skillnet and the College will support these learners with additional revision and coaching to ensure they attain Functional Skills qualifications. It is important to identify difficulties as soon as possible; generally during the first session of ‘off the job’ training and we would encourage learners to be honest and upfront with us if they are having difficulties.

Upon successful completion of the SVQ / VCQ,Technical Certificate and Functional Skills, your son or daughter will gain an achievement of the DAF Advanced Apprenticeship Programme Framework Completion Certificate.

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Apprentice of the Year

At the end of each academic year the college nominates 10 Apprentices per attending year to participate in a competition to find the best performing Apprentice of the Year. Along with certificates and personal shields, monetary prizes for the competition are awarded to winners.

College Open Day and Graduation Ceremony

Apprentices graduating from the National Programme will receive their VCQ Level 3 Certificate in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair and IMI certificate from the Managing Director of DAF Trucks at a prestigious awards ceremony. Prior to this ceremony the college is open for the day and parents of all graduating Apprentices are invited to attend and have the opportunity to view college workshop facilities and talk to staff from Skillnet, the college, DAF and its dealer body.

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DAF - Awards


DAF - College Graduation