North West apprentices brush up on skills for contest

Industry News

Accrington and Rossendale College has hosted a competition event as part of a nationwide challenge for painting and decorating apprentices for the 10th year.

The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) hosted the Northern round of its Apprentice of the Year competition at the college, with 13 apprentices battling it out in the college’s newly refurbished workshop.

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 Accrington and Rossendale College was 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 Accrington and Rossendale College is one of four regional heats. The first two took place at North Kent College in March and City of Glasgow College in April, with a further round at South City College Birmingham this month ahead of the Grand Final at Doncaster College and University Centre in June.

Simon Whitaker, curriculum leader for painting and decorating at Accrington and Rossendale College said: “The PDA’s Apprentice of the Year competition is in its 35th year and it’s been here at Accrington for the last 10 years.

“Apprentices from across the region are coming here to test their skills against each other – this type of skills competition adds that pressure, helps them to remain focused, to concentrate and takes their learning to the next level.

“Here at Accrington and Rossendale College, we’ve just undergone a £3m refurbishment, which has included a brand-new state-of-the-art painting and decorating workshop. We’ve got cutting edge equipment and we’re working really hard to make sure every learner gets the best experience possible.”

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:

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