First heat in national contest for painting apprentices

17 March 2023

The first regional heat in the new-format Apprentice of the Year competition has been held by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) at Accrington and Rossendale College.

16 apprentices from four colleges took part in the gruelling six-hour challenge, which requires apprentices to take a complex design on paper and translate it into a carefully completed ‘mural’.

Three further competition rounds will be held in Birmingham, Glasgow and Kent, with top-scoring apprentices battling it out in a Grand Final to be held at Doncaster College and University Centre.

Andrew Davis from the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (APCT) is part of the impartial competition judges, alongside PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie.

Neil said:

“Our Apprentice of the Year competition has expanded in recent years, with 75 apprentices entering the contest across the four regional heats in 2023.

“Apprentices really value the experience of taking part in the competition – they get to network with their peers and really push themselves to excel.

“We’d like to thank the team at Accrington and Rossendale College for hosting the first competition event as well as our sponsors, Crown Paints, CITB, Purdy Professional Painting Tools, Valspar Trade and Ciret UK, without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide this opportunity.”

The Apprentice of the Year winners will be announced at the PDA’s flagship Premier Trophy Awards ceremony, held at the prestigious Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

Curriculum leader in painting and decorating at Accrington and Rossendale College, Phil Burgess said:

“It was a fabulous turnout. The level of work was absolutely fantastic from all the competitors and we’re really proud of what they’ve produced.

“Accrington and Rossendale College is an outstanding college and it’s very important for us to be hosting such prestigious competitions.”

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group of people standing on stairs
16 contestants from four colleges compete in the Painting and Decorating Association’s Apprentice of the Year 2023. With (front left) Neil Ogilvie, PDA CEO and Phil Burgess of Accrington & Rossendale College
two men standing in front of table full of gift bags
Phil Burgess at Accrington & Rossendale College with PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie