Tom Yelland, a Master Technician and former apprentice of Wessex DAF Trucks, a dealership based at Heathfield, Newton Abbot, has recently represented the UK in DAF’s very first ‘European Technician of the Year’ competition.
During the three year apprenticeship programme Tom, age 28, achieved runner up twice and winner once in the annual DAF ‘Apprentice of the Year competition’. In January of this year, Tom battled it out with the top 15 Master Technicians nationally and was identified as the winner, subsequently being chosen to represent the UK in the European competition.
Tom, along with Service Manager Nick Stewart, travelled to Holland for the competition, which was judged by a team of trained industry assessors. After a gruelling day encompassing six hours’ worth of practical and theoretical tests, Tom claimed second place, narrowly beaten by the Dutch technician.
Service Manager Nick Stewart said: “All the team at Wessex congratulate Tom on his superb achievement, not only is it a reflection of his dedication and sheer hard work but also of the teamwork and camaraderie within Wessex DAF that enables all of our apprentices and technicians to realise their full potential. We are extremely proud of our track record in producing high calibre technicians, many of whom have won top industry awards.”
Notable previous successes include Jake Blowers and Scott Cocks, two former apprentices of Wessex DAF Trucks, who now work directly for DAF in their technical team and are currently studying Automotive Dealership Management, BSc (Hons) at the Henry Ford College in Loughborough. Apprentice Ben King was also named winner of the IMI ‘Outstanding Technical Student Heavy Vehicle category’ in June 2011 and presented with his award by Prince Michael of Kent.
Nick Stewart added:“We have five apprentices going through our training programme at any one time and will be looking for more bright and talented individuals this year”.