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What are apprenticeships?

They are training programmes designed by employers to give eager applicants the skills and qualifications needed by businesses. They are a combination of on-the-job and off-the-job learning. You can learn and earn so you GET NEW SKILLS and GET PAID! It is as simple as that.


What locations do you offer apprenticeships in?

This is a nationwide programme with 136 dealer sites across the UK.


How much will I be paid as an apprentice? 

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) regulations depend on your age, but there is also a special rate for apprentices who are under the age of 19 or are in the first year of their apprenticeship. Please click on the following link for information about the National Minimum Wage.

The National Living Wage must be paid to employees aged 25 and older except for those who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. The NMW rates will apply to workers aged below 25 or in their first year of an apprenticeship. 


What are the minimum qualifications/entry requirements for me to get an apprenticeship at DAF? 

Maths & English Grade 4-9 or equivalent (A-C)


I haven't taken my GCSEs yet, am I still able to apply now for an apprenticeship? 

Yes you can still apply, there are online initial assessments for you to take that will identify your current level, these will be confirmed with additional invigilated Initial assessments.


How old do I need to be to apply for a DAF apprenticeship?

You must be at least 16 years of age & not in full-time education 


What does the application process look like to become a DAF apprentice? 

There is an initial online application, a member of Skillnet’s recruitment team will contact you for a telephone interview & discuss the next stages that will include:

1. Online assessment

2. Initial assessment at the dealership conducted by a Skills Coach

If you are successful at this point you will go forward for a formal interview.


How do I apply for a DAF apprenticeship? 

Simple - Apply here now! 


Are the DAF apprenticeships available for girls as well? 

Most definitely, we have females currently undertaking Heavy Vehicle, Parts & Commercial Services apprenticeships.


What is an apprenticeship?

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

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.


Information for Employers


Is an apprentice right for my business?

Recruiting an Apprentice is a long term commitment for your business and for the Apprentice. It is important to consider several issues when thinking about taking on an Apprentice, including;


What’s your current ratio of Technicians to Apprentices?

Do you have enough qualified staff to be able to give your Apprentices the help they will need to develop their own skills?

Do you have enough qualified Technicians to satisfy the growing demands of your customers?


What’s the age profile of your current Technicians?

The motor industry faces potentially severe staff shortages as the skilled population ages. You need to make sure you have enough Technicians to replace people as they retire. As a general guide, most motor manufacturers recommend a ratio of one Apprentice for every three qualified Technicians.


If a qualified Technician were to leave how would you replace them?

Advertising is very expensive, as is offering increased salaries to attract Technicians from other brands. Although recruiting and training Apprentices calls for a significant investment of time and money, it is almost always cheaper in the long run to train your own staff than to recruit from outside, or even worse, to have to turn away work because you do not have enough qualified Technicians.


How do I recruit an apprentice?

Skillnet markets nationally on behalf of the DAF Trucks Apprenticeship Programme. They will contact schools, Further Education colleges, Careers Offices across the UK to generate applicants who will then be matched to your vacancies. Some dealerships choose to add to this national marketing campaign by making their own contacts with local schools and Career Offices.

Excellent ways of getting these important advisors to recommend your career opportunities to the best school leavers include:

  • Arranging “open days” for Careers staff to visit your dealerships.
  • Offer work tasters and work experience opportunities for Year 10/11 pupils from local schools (14 to 16-year-olds).
  • Give potential Apprentices the chance to visit your premises with their parents to find out more about the opportunities you can offer.
  • Advertise your vacancy on the National Apprenticeship Service website.
  • Visit local schools to talk to groups of pupils about careers in the motor industry.
  • A wide range of promotional material is available from DAF/Skillnet to support dealer initiatives.

Who will look after my apprentice once they join?

We strongly encourage all employers to appoint a specific workplace mentor that Apprentices can go to discuss any part of the training or any concerns they have about their work.

Although the Skillnet Assessor will offer support and guidance throughout the course of their qualification, Apprentices benefit from having access to someone based in their workplace who they can work with. Skillnet can offer specific training to support these workplace mentors.


What are my responsibilities as an employer?

Apprenticeships are “Jobs with training”. Apprentices are full members of staff from day one who are subject to all your normal employment terms and conditions. Any arrangements, such as probationary periods, hours of work and other contractual terms should be agreed with the Apprentice. Apprentices must be issued with a contract of employment in the same way as other staff. Skillnet can advise on specific contract terms to cover the specific nature of Apprenticeships.


What pay and hours will I offer?

Apprentices under the age of 19 are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Apprentices over 19 who have completed one full year of their Apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age group. A detailed guide to the National Minimum Wage is available from

The Government Agency defines a minimum wage for full-time Apprentices. An up to date figure for this can be obtained by contacting your Skillnet representative. You should however consider what a competitive weekly wage is for Apprentices in your area. “Poor wages during training” is the most commonly cited reason for Apprentices leaving the industry during their first year of training. Your Skillnet Skills Coach will be able to advise you on the rates paid in your area. Apprentices under the age of 18 can work a maximum of 40 hours in any week.


What kind of person am I looking for?

When interviewing potential Apprentices you look for the following attributes as a minimum:

  • A real commitment to learning.
  • Working and studying at the same time is a tough task so has this applicant got what it takes to get through three years of study?
  • Do they realise they will have to spend up to 26 weeks away from home at college and do they feel ready to do this?
  • These are young people, are there any signs their family are committed to helping them through their studies?
  • A real interest in the sector.
  • Applicants who are really committed to working with vehicles will have tried to find themselves relevant work experience before they apply. Try to find out what they have done and what they have learned from it.
  • Good people skills.
  • Technicians talk to customers every day and although Apprentices will develop their communication skills during their studies, they should be able to demonstrate at the interview an ability to communicate about the things they have done, their likes and dislikes and their aspirations for the future.
  • A level of academic achievement.

Achieving an Apprenticeship calls for excellent technical skills and the ability to deal with far greater academic detail. Applicants should have or be expecting, the equivalent of at least three GCSE or equivalent grades A-C, including English and Maths. There will also be other attributes that are important to you as an employer; honesty and integrity, the ability to adapt to new situations and a flexible approach to work are all key elements of a successful Technician.


What happens once my apprentice is qualified?

Hopefully, the question you and your newly qualified Technician will be asking is what training is next? Whether your aim is to develop your new Technician into a diagnostic Technician or a Manager of the future, learning does not stop after they have graduated.


How could an apprentice help my business?

Succession planning and career development is a vital part of today’s businesses and dealerships are no different. The motor industry is however recognised for promoting from within and many senior members of dealer staff started their working life as an Apprentice. Indeed the DAF network can boast a number of Service Managers who have graduated through the DAF Dealer National Apprentice Programme.

Giving a young person a career opportunity and investing in their development buys goodwill and loyalty to the dealership and the DAF brand. It demonstrates that you have progression opportunities, be it from Apprentice to Master Technician, or to Workshop Foreman or Service Manager and we hope one day to Dealer Principal.

Developing youngsters through your business provides you with a constant flow of people loyal and experienced to succeed in the older generation.


Apply Today!


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