PDA launches new format for Apprentice of the Year contest

9 February 2023

The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA), has announced a new, expanded format for our popular Apprentice of the Year competition.

The contest has grown significantly over the last decade, from a single day event to encompassing three regional heats.

And now for 2023, the competition will include a regional competition event for Scotland for the first time, as well as a Grand Final stage.

A rising number of entrants from Scotland, as well as across England and Wales prompted the move, as more and more apprentices, colleges and employers recognise the value of the competition experience for young people.

The closing date for entries is 17 February and we are urging potential candidates to sign up during National Apprenticeship Week which runs from 6 to 12 February.

Events and Administration Manager at PDA, Yvonne Dominey-Tay, oversees the competition. She said:

“The apprentices who take part really appreciate the chance to meet other people at the same stage in their careers from across the UK and to test their skills against each other.

“They take on a gruelling six-hour challenge which tests their precision, stamina and skill, but also have the opportunity to share ideas and network with their peers.

“Their work is judged by PDA Chief Executive Neil Ogilvie and Andrew Davis of the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (ACPT) and many apprentices who take part in the Junior section return in the Senior competition because their confidence has improved, or they’ve been inspired to push themselves further.

“National Apprenticeship Week is the ideal opportunity to remind painting and decorating apprentices that this opportunity is available to them and that they need to sign up before the deadline of Friday 17 February.”

The Apprentice of the Year competition is open to painting and decorating apprentices, regardless of whether their employer is a PDA Member.

The competition event dates are:

  • 2 March – North of England heat, Accrington & Rossendale College
  • 16 March – Scotland heat, Glasgow College
  • 20 April – Midlands heat, Birmingham South City College
  • 27 April – South of England heat, North Kent College
  • 11 May – Grand Final, Doncaster College and University Centre

As part of the competition, we host an evening meal and overnight stay ahead of each competition day.

Overall winners and runners-up in Junior and Senior categories will be invited to receive their accolades as part of the PDA’s prestigious Premier Trophy Awards ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall, London.

To enter, download an entry form here ≫