Nationwide’s Daryl Heading to Abu Dhabi Representing the UK in World Skills

September 11, 2017

Nationwide Paint Technician Daryl Head, who graduated from the Thatcham Research Automotive Academy in 2015, will be heading off for the adventure of a lifetime having qualified for World Skills 2017 in Abu Dhabi this October.

Daryl’s journey began in 2012 when he started his apprenticeship in paint just days after he left school. Since then he has gone on to compete in the National Skill Competition and be named Nationwide Apprentice of the Year. Three years after beginning his training, Daryl was scouted to join Team UK during a Skill Auto competition, and earlier this year he was named as the UK representative in his discipline for World Skills 2017.

Daryl says: "I'm delighted that Nationwide and Thatcham Research have asked to follow me on the final leg of my journey to the World Skills competition in October. It has been a tremendous experience for me so far and I would not have been able to achieve this without the support of Nationwide, friends, family and Thatcham Research.”

 “I have always wanted to work in the vehicle repair industry, tinkering with cars with my Dad who was self-employed within the trade from a young age. I knew that university wasn't for me and that securing an apprenticeship would be a better option. There are so many opportunities within the industry, and so many areas to specialise in.”

“Thatcham Research has offered me a series of training days to help me perfect my skills in six key areas for the competition. Combining what I get to work with at Nationwide every day with the training facilities at the Academy, while training with my mentor again has lifted my confidence and helped me focus.”

Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services, Thatcham Academy said: “We are proud to assist Daryl and provide the time and resources to help him on his way to Abu Dhabi and are looking forward to following him on his journey.”

As part of his training, Daryl, 21, has travelled Europe, visiting Denmark and Northern Ireland to name but a few. He has completed a number of competitions to best prepare him for Abu Dhabi.

Louise Cope, People Director at Nationwide, said “We are so incredibly proud of Daryl. The determination and attitude he has demonstrated throughout his apprenticeship and career so far with us make him a great asset to the team. The Nationwide Team have supported him throughout and will continue to do so during the entire World Skills competition. Daryl is the embodiment of our values, as we ‘always strive for continuous improvement’ and believe ‘our people are central to our success’. We wish him the best of luck at World Skills in Abu Dhabi and look forward to a bright future as his career flourishes with Nationwide.”

We hope that Daryl’s story will provide inspiration for others looking to join the automotive industry.

Nationwide will be sharing details of Daryl’s preparation in the weeks leading up to World Skills October 14-16. Follow his progress on social media and at:

The first Daryl’s Diary Video, leading up to World Skills competition is available to watch here:

To find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available at Nationwide, contact or view current vacancies at

Thatcham Research supports apprentices across a variety of disciplines, contact our customer service team today on: