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Apprentices hoping to make PDA’s roll of honour

Posted: 29th May 2019

APPRENTICES from across the UK will put their skills to the ultimate test in a national competition next month.


The Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition – organised by national trade body, the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) – will be held at The Hub in Doncaster on Tuesday, June 4.


Organised to encourage and inspire the next generation of painters and decorators, the annual seven-hour contest is split into two different levels, new entrant and senior.


The new entrant level competitors will test their skills by wallpapering a three-sided booth – all under the watchful eyes of an expert panel of industry professionals – while the senior-level competition stretches skills to the limit as students set about transforming a mock living room, with additional tests including internal angles, borders and inlay panels, as well as a fire surround.


Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive of the PDA, considers this competition to be an important step for apprentices to experience the demands of a real-life environment.


He said: “This is a tough competition and not for the faint hearted, but the benefits the students gain from taking part in the competition are second-to-none.


“They grasp an understanding of time and space constraints, their attention to detail and skills are put to the test, along with their ability to work to a set criteria.”


Judges will mark competitors on their ability to join patterns from paper to paper, and points will be deducted for the presence of paste, bubbles and blisters, as well as lifting edges.


Mr Ogilvie continued: “The PDA is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and throughout that time apprentices have been key to the industry’s continued success.


“In a time when we are experiencing a skills gap within the trade, it’s really important that we encourage apprentices to take part and celebrate their achievements too.”


From each category the top two apprentices will be invited to the prestigious PDA Masquerade Ball at Oulton Hall Hotel, Leeds on Saturday, November 9, with results announced on the night.


Kindly sponsored by longstanding partner Brewers, the competition winners will be presented with a cash prize, trophy and certificate.