A YOUNG paint technician from Shrivenham will represent the UK at an international competition in Abu Dhabi next month.

Daryl Head started an apprenticeship in paint at Nationwide Swindon days after he left school in 2012 and since then he has competed in the National Skill Competition and been named 'Nationwide Apprentice of the Year'.

The 21-year-old graduated from the Thatcham Research Automotive Academy and was scouted to join Team UK during a Skill Auto competition in 2015 and earlier this year he was named as the UK representative in his discipline for World Skills 2017.

Daryl said: "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 at 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 and 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. 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.”

The World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017 competition will take place from October 15 to October 18.

Nationwide will be following his progress on their social media accounts and at www.nationwiderepairs.co.uk/blog

The first Daryl’s Diary Video is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/4fxgLQE0cgI

To find out more about the opportunities available at Nationwide, contact Talent@ncrc.co.uk or view current vacancies at www.nationwiderepairs.co.uk/careers.