Apprentices brush up on skills as part of PDA Competition

19 April 2024

City of Glasgow College has hosted a competition event as part of a nationwide challenge for painting and decorating apprentices.

The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) hosted the Scottish round of its Apprentice of the Year competition at the college, with a record-breaking 24 apprentices taking part.

It’s the 35th year the PDA has hosted the contest and winners will be announced at the PDA’s Premier Trophy Awards, a glittering ceremony held at Plaisterers’ Hall, London, in July.

The competition judges are PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie and Andrew Davis of the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (APCT).

Neil Ogilvie said: “2024 is a landmark year for the PDA which celebrates 35 years of the Premier Trophy Awards and Apprentice of the Year competition, as well as the 130th anniversary of the Association itself.

“The competition event at City of Glasgow College was an excellent day, with both junior and senior apprentices really demonstrating their skills as well as taking the opportunity to network with their peers.

“Apprentices really value this experience, which is sponsored by Purdy Professional Painting Tools and supported by Dulux Trade.

“With just six hours to transform a large blank board into a copy of a complex image designed to test their precision, stamina and skill, the competition has become a proving ground for young people embarking on a career in colour.”

The event at City of Glasgow College is one of four regional heats. The first took place at North Kent College in March with further rounds at South City College Birmingham and Accrington and Rossendale College ahead of the Grand Final at Doncaster College and University Centre in June.

Michael McEwan, lecturer at City of Glasgow College said: “This is the second year we’ve hosted the PDA competition, which has attracted a record number of apprentices this year.

“It’s great to see so many talented students taking part in this type of competition. It’s so important to the industry as it showcases the talent that is coming through and the work we do in the colleges as well.”

The PDA is Britain’s largest trade body dedicated to the sector and represents painting and decorating businesses of all types from sole traders through to large scale national contractors employing hundreds of operatives.

With a proud history and a long-standing legacy of promoting high standards and best practice, the PDA requires its members to be insured and appropriately trained as well as committing to a Code of Conduct that includes providing quality work at a reasonable price.

To find a PDA member near you visit: