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Gainsborough decorator wins Crown Trade competition at UK Skills Show

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Gainsborough decorator wins Crown Trade competition at UK Skills Show

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Published by Jo Foster for Crown Trade in Education and also in Housing

Sandie Webster Sandie Webster

Sandie Webster, a 29 year old painter and decorator from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, has been ‘Crowned’ Apprentice Decorator of 2013, after securing a place for the third year running in the national final of Crown Trade’s prestigious competition.

For the first time in over 35 years, the grand finale of the contest (part of Skillbuild and a WorldSkills UK National Competition) was held at the nation’s largest skills and careers event, the UK Skills Show, at the NEC Birmingham in November.

The competition was one of 70 national skills finals taking place , giving over 700 talented apprentices, employees and learners an opportunity to show what they could achieve and to be named the ‘best in the UK’ in their chosen skill. 

Sandie faced fierce competition from twelve other P&D finalists all of whom had to complete a demanding test piece designed to really stretch their capabilities. Because the final was part of the UK Skills Show, attended by over 82,000 young people and their teachers, tutors and parents, they were competing in an open arena where spectators could watch them at work.  

After the final whistle blew to call the P&D competition to a close, there was agonising 30-hour wait for the results to be announced at the WorldSkills UK Awards Ceremony in the LG Arena. Sandie was “over the moon and completely lost for words” to be invited onto the stage to receive her gold medal. She also received the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year trophy and £1000 from Crown Paints. The winner of the silver medal and £500 prize money was 23-year old Lee Bellamy representing Sheffield City College. Bagnalls employee Kristian Pilmer, representing New College Durham, took the bronze medal and received £250.

Crown Trade Marketing Manager Debbie Orr said: “There have been many changes to the way we have organised competitions for our industry’s most talented newcomers over the past 35 years. Becoming closely involved with the WorldSkills organisation has really differentiated Crown Trade’s competition from other contests. Now that our national final is also an integral part of the Skills Show, which reaches out in such an exciting, inspirational and inclusive way to so many thousands of young people considering their future careers, it has taken our event to a completely new level.” 

Crown Trade will soon be calling for entrants for next year’s regional heats which start in April 2014.  For further information or to register please contact 0845 389 9583 or email info@crowntrade.co.uk

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