The Johnstone’s Painter of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate those in the trade contributing to brilliant decorating throughout the UK. Johnstone’s Trade brought the search for “Young Painter of the Year” to North Kent College, Gravesend with one of their seven regional heats being held nationally.

Four painting & decorating students were nominated by their tutors to participate in the notable competition. The contest is held annually, and it aims to support young aspiring painters by showcasing their talents and aiding them to find jobs within the industry.

New for 2020, winners of the regional heats will be invited to take part in the grand final event where the 2020 Johnstone’s Trade Young Painter of the Year will be crowned.

Young Painter of the Year begins with seven regional heats held across the country with cash prizes and amazing bundles to be won but only one lucky young painter will be selected from each area to then proceed to the National finals. The national finals competition will be visited by experts in the field of decorating to judge all contestants and ultimately choose the overall winner.

The Gravesend Campus hosting the national heat started the day with a briefing by PPG (one of the world’s largest suppliers of paints, coatings, optical products, speciality materials, glass and fibre glass.) Founded in 1883 and based in Pittsburgh, USA (“PPG” stands for “Pittsburgh Plate Glass [Co.] because that’s what the company initially specialised in before it entered the paint market

Students had 6 hours to complete the competition tasks and once all contestants had finished they all received a goodie bag and the judges then announced the runner up Molly Newman who received a £100 cheque and winner Lennie Uden who received a £200 cheque together with a bundle full of amazing prizes.

Lennie Uden, Level 2 Painting & Decorating student, said “I enjoyed taking part in the competition and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see what happens next as I will be going to the final for the next stage”.

Jamie Taylor the Senior Technical Coatings Consultant from PPG said “I’m passionate about the talent the young people can achieve when they put their mind to it and it’s a real inspiration seeing the work as a result of this competition”.

Karen Wyatt, Assistant Curriculum Manager (Construction Crafts, North Kent College) mentioned “The College welcomes the support that Johnstone’s Trade offer young painters to demonstrate their skillsets in competitions. Being chosen to represent the College is a huge achievement for our students. The extra effort which staff and learners put in and the results they achieve shows how committed to their course and the College they have become. I am very proud of the way these young painters work and the results do really speak for themselves. Well done to all who took part.”

Micha Hanstead, Level 1 Painting & Decorating student, said “I was really excited about the Young painter of the Year competition and it was such a confidence boost for me that I was entered. I am really thankful to have been put forward, it was a great day.”

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