There was an air of high expectation this Friday 20th March, when SLC played host to the Northern Heat of the Painting & Decorating Association (PDA) - Premier Apprentice/Trainee Trophy Awards Competition.


Eleven competitors were drawn from colleges across the region including Stoke, Dudley and Birmingham. The students practical skills were tested by setting out a challenging design to scale which then required high levels of precision to paint and apply special effects. The judges were looking for those students who showed the greatest accuracy, clean lines and cutting in when executing their work.


Divided into a southern and a northern heat, the students were competing for two finalists places and an invite to the Plaisterers Hall in London. Here, at the prestigious Premier Trophy Awards Luncheon on 9th July 2015, the winner would be crowned 'PDA Apprentice/Trainee of the Year' and presented with £500 worth of tools and equipment.


Founded in 1894, the PDA is a symbol of quality and professionalism within the industry. The Association represents thousands of painters and decorators across the UK to ensure all members adhere to the highest standards. Their competitions are designed to encourage and support excellence from across the industry, whether that be the skills of an apprentice, sole-trader or national company.


In the words of the PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie, "Our competitions allow students to demonstrate their skills to their peers through a real hands on task, by taking a plain canvas and transforming it with a design.

Once completed, they can step back to survey their work, and hopefully, realise the potential for them in this industry. College plays an important role in students' development, enabling them to achieve the professional qualifications and skills they need to succeed in their chosen profession."


The competitors from both heats, including SLC students Rhiann Iglesias and Liz Clements, will now have to wait to hear if their work has been judged of a high enough standard to secure an invite to the Plaisterers Hall.