The wait is on for apprentices across the country

July 27th, 2018

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. 

Organised by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA), the Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition is an annual competition that Brewers are a proud to be supporting again.  Putting nine students to the ultimate test at The Hub in Doncaster, the talented apprentices now face the anxious wait for the results, which will be announced at the PDA National Gala Dinner in October.

As in previous years, Brewers provided the competition with the multiple types of wallpaper for the different challenges plus the relevant pastes required. 

The annual competition, which lasts for a gruelling seven hours, was split into two different categories, including a new entrant and senior level. 

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 five years ago.

He 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, Mr 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 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 at Barnfield College and who works for 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.”

‘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.”.’

Neil Ogilvie
Chief Executive, PDA