Paperhanging skills recognised at PDA Gala Dinner

The winners of a gruelling six-hour wallpaper hanging challenge have been presented with their awards at a Gala Dinner hosted by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA).

As the UK’s largest trade body for the painting and decorating sector, the PDA’s annual Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition challenges Level One and Level Two apprentices to showcase their talent each year.

The winners in both Junior and Senior categories were announced at the national trade body’s annual networking event Gala Dinner.

In total, 16 apprentices from across the UK, took part in the competition, which was held at Doncaster College and University Centre, in June.

Judged by PDA Chief Executive Neil Ogilvie and Melanie Adams, Head of Wallpaper at competition sponsor Brewers Decorator Centres, the Paperhanger competition tasked apprentices with a specific wallpaper design created to test their precision, timing and skill over six hours.

Neil was joined by Dave Hope, National Sales Development Manager at Brewers Decorator Centres to present the awards at the Gala Dinner held at Stratford Manor Hotel in Warwickshire this month.

Senior Winner of the Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year 2022 was Rebecca Mackinnon, an apprentice at Neil Mackay & Co Ltd, who attends UHI Inverness.

Rebecca returned in the senior category after being runner-up in the Junior category last year.

Senior runner-up was Cameron Bonthron, an apprentice with Axis Europe who is studying at North Kent College.

The winner of the Junior category was Jade Oakes, who attends Riverside College, Widnes & Runcorn, and is an apprentice at Ciaran Rooney Painting and Decorating.

Harry Davies, 19, from Bradford was named runner-up in the Junior category. Harry is a student at Leeds College of Building and employed at LDC Decorating Contractors in Halifax.

Calib Dyson from Wardle near Leeds works as a sub-contractor after completing his studies at Leeds College of Building in June, and was presented with the CEO Achievement and Recognition Award.

Neil said: “Our Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition is really valued by the young people who take part.

“It was fantastic to see the apprentices take on the challenge with such enthusiasm and help each other out, even though they were in a competitive setting.

“They all demonstrated great respect for each other and a commitment to their craft, which was a credit to them, their employers and their colleges.

“The competition is sponsored by Brewers Decorator Centres and it is their generous and continued support that allows us to host this vital opportunity for people entering the industry.

“I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate their success at the PDA’s annual Gala Dinner.” 

To find out more about the PDA and its competition events, or apply to join, visit:

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