Last heat in national contest for painting apprentices

10 May 2023

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

15 apprentices from eight 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 have been held in Birmingham, Glasgow and Accrington, 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 North Kent College for hosting the 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.

Kevin O’Donnell, Senior Technical Demonstrator at Crown Paints, the main sponsor of the Premier Trophy Awards 2023, said: 

“Painters and decorators have an unparalleled ability to bring colour, life and character to buildings through their work.

“It’s important that the industry maintains a strong pipeline of enthusiastic, skilled young people working in the trade.

“That’s why we’re incredibly proud to sponsor a competition that supports and nurtures the next generation of talented professionals.”

Lecturer in painting and decorating at North Kent College, Karen Wyatt said:

“It is beneficial for apprentices to take part in this competition as it brings together the skills they are learning at college, their training provider and employer.

“It also assists with their End Point Assessment, because they have to look at setting out drawings, reading, communication, behaviours, as well as the foundations of painting and decorating.

“The work that has been completed has been to a very high standard.”

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