This November saw the exciting climax of the longest running annual skills event for newcomers to the painting and decorating industry: the national final of Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year Competition. This highly regarded competition, sponsored by decorative coatings manufacturer Crown Paints for over 36 successive years, touches the lives of hundreds of apprentices and trainees at the start of their careers, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their craft and reach the very highest professional standards.
Crown Paints’ competition, which has the support and involvement of the Painting & Decorating Association, and the Scottish Decorators’ Federation, is organised in conjunction with SkillBuild, the Construction Industry Training Board backed organisation which sets out to nurture the nation’s top apprentices and trainees working in different areas of construction. All SkillBuild finals are held at The Skills Show, a massive skills, training and careers extravaganza organised by Find A Future at the NEC in Birmingham each year. They take place alongside a further 50 competitions where the ‘best of the best’ compete in their chosen skill area from the worlds of engineering, IT and Business Administration, Social & Professional Services, Cultural and Creative Arts, and the Built Environment.
Being part of the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which attracted almost 74,000 visitors this year, gives the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year Competition an unrivalled profile and sets it apart from other skills events in the P&D industry. It also provides young painters and decorators with an exclusive route into the realm of international competitions as they have the opportunity to impress the technical experts who select and train the UK squads for future WorldSkills events.
For the P&D competitors, this year’s final was their chance to show their tutors, their employers and the panel of expert judges, how well they had mastered the skills and techniques required of a professional decorator, and to win generous prize money. For Crown Paints it was an opportunity to showcase the talents and reward the achievements of nine ambitious highly trained young men and women, and to promote the appeal and rewarding nature of a painting and decorating career to the tens of thousands of schoolchildren and young adults attending the show.
Debbie Orr, Crown Paints Trade Marketing Manager, said
“As one of the largest coatings manufacturers in the UK we have a responsibility to invest in the painting and decorating industry, to attract newcomers who are keen to train and gain qualifications, and to promote the very highest standards. As our 36-year track record clearly demonstrates, we are passionate about nurturing tomorrow’s P&D professionals and encouraging excellence amongst the hundreds of apprentices and trainees who enter our competition each year. We are thrilled that our national final is now part of The Skills Show, which is far and away the largest and most impressive skills and careers event in the whole of the UK, as it has taken our long established contest to a new level entirely”.