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Leeds decorator named Apprentice of the Year

Nicole Germaine at the PDA Premier Trophy Awards

A Leeds apprentice is showcasing the opportunities for women in painting and decorating, after being named Senior Apprentice of the Year (@WeAre_LCB).

Nicole Germaine, 24, took part in a nationwide competition hosted by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) earlier this year.

She was named winner in the senior category and presented with an award during the PDA’s Premier Trophy Awards ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall in London, where her fellow student at Leeds College of Building, Elisha Whyte, also received an industry accolade.

Nicole said:

“I was speechless. There were a lot of really good entries, so I didn’t expect to win.

“Lots of my family are painters and decorators, so it was lovely to have them with me at the awards ceremony and to see so many people from other companies.

“Winning Senior Apprentice of the Year has definitely given me a confidence boost and now I just want to go as far as I possibly can in painting and decorating.”

Nicole lives in Leeds and works for Equans, part of the Engie Group, a global company employing more than 170,000 people worldwide.

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

Nicole added:

“The competition itself involved a lot of marking up and measuring, the level of work was really high, and it was great to be in a room with people my own age, all doing something we enjoy.”

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

Neil Ogilvie said:

“Nicole deserves huge congratulations. She was competing against apprentices from across the UK and has every right to be incredibly proud of her 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 Leeds College of Building student Elisha, who works for Bradford Council, was named joint runner-up for Senior Apprentice of the Year with Michael Murphy, who works for the South Wales branch of Yorkshire-based Bagnalls and attends Merthyr Tydfil College.

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