Midlands apprentices brush up on skills for contest

Industry News

A nationwide challenge for painting and decorating apprentices has held its Midlands heat at South and City College Birmingham.

The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) Apprentice of the Year competition event took place at the college, with 11 apprentices battling it out for a place in the final.

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 the Longbridge Construction Campus of South and City College Birmingham has been an excellent day, with both junior and senior apprentices 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 and CITB.

“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 South and City College Birmingham is the last of four regional heats held at North Kent College, City of Glasgow College and Accrington & Rossendale College.

The Grand Final of the contest will take place at Doncaster College and University Centre in June.

Mark Morris is lecturer in painting and decorating at South and City College Birmingham.

He said: “The PDA competition challenges learners to tackle, in six hours, a task they might normally have three or four days to work on.

“They’re also putting their work forward to be judged by experts, so it’s quite an intense experience, but it can give them a huge confidence boost.

“We’re proud to host the Midlands heat – it showcases our college, attracts people into the trade and gives participants the confidence to put themselves out there and move onto the next stage of learning or into employment.”

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: www.paintingdecoratingassociation.co.uk

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