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Leeds’ Apprentices Celebrate Success in National Competition

Posted on Tue 28th Nov, 2017

Leeds’ Apprentices Celebrate Success in National Competition Image

Two apprentices who study in Leeds are on a roll after sweeping to success in a wallpaper hanging competition.

Jessica Mays and Abbie Johnson were named runners up in the Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year Competition at the Painting and Decorating Association’s (PDA) gala dinner.

Forming part of the trade body’s National Conference, the prestigious event was held at the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel.

The two apprentices study at the Leeds College of Building, Jessica towards an NVQ Level 3 in Painting and Decorating and Abbie towards an NVQ Level 2.

The awards were presented after both students took part in the PDA’s national competition, held at The Hub in Doncaster in October.

Sponsored by Brewers, the contest – which was divided into a junior and senior level – put the wallpaper hanging skills of apprentices from across the UK to the ultimate test in a seven-hour challenge.

Jessica, 19 – who is employed by Leeds-based Medusa Décor – took part in the senior competition.

Along with three other competitors, she was given the challenging task of wallpapering a mock living room, which included a fire surround, internal angles and borders as well as inlay panels

She said: “This is the first time that I’ve entered this competition and I’m over the moon to be placed as the runner up. 

“I like wallpapering and practised beforehand, so I felt quite confident going in to it.

“I’m definitely going to go back next year and give it another shot.”

Abbie, who is also 19 and works for Bradford Council, took part in the junior competition where she – along with five other apprentices – had to wallpaper a three-sided booth.

She said: “I’d only been wallpapering for two or three weeks so I didn’t have much experience. We had to put a border around too and that was the first time I had ever done one, matching the pattern up wasn’t easy either but the atmosphere was great and really friendly with like-minded people. I never thought I would get this far, but I’m definitely going for gold next year.”

Both students were presented with a cash prize, a certificate and a trophy.

Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive of the PDA, said: “Jessica and Abbie have done so well to get this far, especially as it’s their first year competing.

“The talent they were up against was exceptional and a credit to all of their employers and colleges.” 

Simon Walmsley, National Account Manager at Brewers, said: “We’d like to congratulate Jessica and Abbie on their successes and for showcasing their skills in this contest. 

“Brewers are proud to sponsor the PDA Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition, as we feel it’s a good way to help encourage the next generation into the painting and decorating trade.”

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