A Doncaster (@DonnyCollege) apprentice has been named Junior Apprentice of the Year by a national trade body.

Thomas Turner, 19, took part in a nationwide competition hosted by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) earlier this year.

He was named winner in the junior category and presented with an award during the PDA’s Premier Trophy Awards ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

Thomas said: “I was excited to go to the awards ceremony and just happy to be there, but nervous at the same time

“I’m really happy that I won – it’s definitely given me a confidence boost.”

Thomas lives in Doncaster and works for Bagnalls (East Midlands), while studying painting and decorating at Doncaster College.

A record number of entrants took part in the three competition events across England, tackling a complex painting project in just six hours.

Thomas added:

“The competition event was a really good experience. It was good to be in a room with other young apprentices and talk with people my own age while we were all taking on the challenge together.

“Bagnalls have been really supportive. They put me forward for the competition and helped me get ready for it.

“The team I work with were really happy for me when I told them I’d won.”

The competition was judged by PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie and Andrew Davis from the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (APCT).

Neil Ogilvie said:

“Thomas deserves huge congratulations. He was competing against apprentices from across the UK and has every right to be incredibly proud of his achievement.

“The quality of work on display was very high at all three competition events, which were held at Leeds College of Building, Coventry College and Bournemouth and Poole College.

“The generous and continued support of our sponsors, Johnstone’s Trade Paint, Purdy Professional Painting Tools and CITB, allows us to offer these vital opportunities to apprentices in the industry.

“The competitions give apprentices the chance to meet with their peers, and the Premier Trophy Awards is our flagship event, where it is always a pleasure to see young people starting out in the trade receive some recognition for their efforts.”

Fellow apprentice at Bagnalls, Michael Murphy from South Wales was named joint runner-up in the Senior Apprentice of the Year category at the PDA Premier Trophy Awards, while the company also received four commendations for projects undertaken across the UK as well as winning the Highly Decorative category award.

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