Aiden Dearie was the deserving ‘gold’ winner of the 2018 Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition, which was awarded after a gruelling three-day challenge at the WorldSkills UK LIVE event at Birmingham’s NEC.
The final saw seven regional winners go up against each other, as they undertook a timed challenge – this was to complete a design to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement, which brought World War One to an end.
The artwork was devised by Crown’s in-house design studio specially for the competition.
The final saw each apprentice have 18 hours to complete the challenge, under the watchful eye of the competition’s panel of judges, which featured Kevin O’Donnell, Crown Paints’ training manager, plus Sandie Webster and Ben Deer, both former Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year winners.
It was held as part of the SkillBuild event, organised by CITB as part of WorldSkills UK LIVE, at Birmingham’s NEC over three days (15 – 17 November).
It is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices, covering a range of skills and sectors, from bricklaying and cabinet making to plastering and stonemasonry.
Aiden, a 22-year-old apprentice who is completing his SVQ Level 3 Painting and Decorating at City Building Glasgow’s Queenslie Training College, demonstrated outstanding attention to detail.
The judges praised his skill with both matt paint and trim work, and for completing the design comfortably within the timeframe to an exceptionally high standard.
He also scored highly for his accuracy and finesse, and a tidy working area.
The annual competition, now in its 39th year, is organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and sponsored by Crown Paints, along with other industry leaders, such as British Gypsum.
Ben Deer, assistant judge and former Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year winner, commented: “The standard of this year’s competition was incredibly high, which made selecting a winner a challenge in itself.
“Aiden stood out for his consistency throughout the three days of the competition, and for his tidy and accurate work which achieved a beautiful finish.
“Every decorator is different, and it’s fascinating to see how each person approaches the challenge we set. This year, we slightly reduced the time available to complete the challenge, but the majority of the finalists – Aiden included – managed their time and workload very well, and everyone should be very proud of their work.”
Aiden reflected on his success: “It means a lot to me to win the Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition, as it shows that all my hard work has paid off.
“I love the variety of decorating, and the competition final gave me a platform to showcase some of the skills I’ve perfected as part of my apprenticeship – and it’s proof that if you put in the hours and work hard, you’ll be rewarded.”
Thomas Nowell, 19, of Truro and Penwith College, scooped the silver medal, with Bridie Kilby, 19, of Leicester College, bagging bronze.
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