Students from across the UK are waiting with bated breath to find out if they have done enough to be crowned the country's top apprentice paperhanger.
The Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition, organised by the Painting and Decorating Association, puts nine students to the ultimate test at The Hub, Doncaster.
They now face the anxious wait for results, which will be announced at the esteemed PDA National Networking Event and Gala Dinner, being held at the Hilton Liverpool City Hotel on Saturday 27 October 2018.
The annual competition, which lasts for a gruelling seven hours, was split into two different categories, including a new entrant and senior level. Neil Oglive, Chief Exectutive of the PDA said, "Both categories were challenging, especially in a competition setting. All of the students came to win, but remained supportive to their peers, they were an absolute credit to the industry."
Five new entrant competitors were given the task of wallpapering a three-sided booth, whilst the remaining four senior apprentices had a much more advanced specification. Battling it out, they were required to wallpaper a mock living room, with the added pressure of a fire surround and internal angles, as well as inlay panels and borders.
RS Decorating employee, Anthony Jones, stepped up to the mark in the senior competition. The 32-year-old, who is currently studying toward his Level 3 qualification at The Hub, Doncaster, decided to have a career change 5 years ago. Anthony said. " I loved painting and decorating, so I decided to pursue my interest and go to college. This is the first time I have competed in a competition like this one and although it's really challenging, I feel like it's gone well."
The competition was judged by past PDA Member, Mike Clow, and newly appointed PDA North East President, James Graham. James said, "There were not as many opportunities for us when I first started out in the industry. I think that it's great to see apprentices getting involved in competitions like this, interacting with new people and advancing their skills. All competitors have worked extremely hard, so it'll be difficult to judge."
Judged under strict criteria, they will be marked on their accuracy, work ethic and time keeping, as well as how plum the wallpaper is, how well the patterns join and the amount of air bubbles present.
Jasmine Warner, a Level 2 student currently studying at Barnfield College and working for the T&E Neville in Luton, put her skills to the test in the entrant level competition.
The 24-year old said, "At work I mainly paint, so this has been a real challenge. I'm really proud of myself though for coming along today, it's been a good experience for me."