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A painting and decorating apprentice from Lancashire has tested their skills against top scorers across the UK at the first ever Grand Final of the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) Apprentice of the Year competition.

Holly Duffy, aged 20, is a student at Accrington and Rossendale College and an apprentice at Spain Building Contractors.

She achieved the top score in the Senior category in a regional heat held at the college in March.

Holly battled it out against three other finalists, selected at regional heats in Birmingham, Glasgow and North Kent, at the Grand Final held at Doncaster College and University Centre.

Overall winners and runners-up in Junior and Senior categories will be invited to receive their accolades as part of the PDA Premier Trophy Awards ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall, London in July.

Andrew Davis of the Association of Painting Craft Teachers (ACPT) judged the finalists’ work alongside PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie.

Neil said: “The Grand Final event has been a huge success and it has been fantastic to see the level of work produced by these apprentices who are well on their way to a productive career in colour.

“2023 has been a record year for this competition, which has expanded from three regional competition days to four regional heats and a Grand Final this year due to record demand.

“We’d like to thank the team at Doncaster College and University Centre for hosting our first event Grand Final, as well as our sponsors, Crown Paints, CITB, Purdy Professional Painting Tools, Valspar Trade and Ciret UK, without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide this opportunity.” Kevin O’Donnell, Senior Technical Demonstrator at Crown Paints, the main sponsor of the Premier Trophy Awards 2023, said: “Painters and decorators have an unparalleled ability to bring colour, life and character to buildings through their work.

“It’s important that the industry maintains a strong pipeline of enthusiastic, skilled young people working in the trade.

“That’s why we’re incredibly proud to sponsor a competition that supports and nurtures the next generation of talented professionals.”

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