Brazil Calling For World-class Doncaster Decorator
As this magazine goes to print, Curtis Baker is gearing up to make the journey of a lifetime – heading off to Brazil to represent his country in the biggest and most impressive skills event of all – the WorldSkills competition.
The 20-year-old from Doncaster has put his heart and soul into developing the skills that will soon be put to the test on an international setting.
Now all the hard work has paid off, with Curtis on an expenses-paid trip to São Paulo – with a mission to showcase to the world his extraordinary talent.
It demands outstanding skill, coupled with a real determination to succeed to make the grade for WorldSkills – often referred to as the ‘skills olympics.’
Curtis is quick to recognise all the support he’s had to get this far, particularly from his employer’s Togel Contractors, Pete Walters, who has been instrumental in developing his skillset for the global contest as Chief Expert for the WorldSkills UK painting and decorating team – and Crown Paints, who helped him on the road to success through the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition.
Curtis said: “I’m a bit nervous, but I’m really excited to compete in Brazil. It’s going to be a great experience.
“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s all worth it in the end.”
Curtis’s journey began with a strong score sheet in the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition.
The Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition has been running for 36 years and sets the pace in terms of skills and commitment from its entrants.
The finals of the competition is a huge event in itself, taking place at The Skills Show in Birmingham in front of thousands of people.
And for those who stand out in the judging process, it also provides a springboard to showcase their skills on the international stage.
Those star performers in the contest that meet certain age criteria are likely to be ‘long-listed’ for selection for the WorldSkills UK Squad, just as happened to Curtis.
Curtis was one of three young decorators selected to attend intensive training sessions, after they were talent-spotted at the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition.
The three trained together up until May this year, and then – following an assessment of their performance – Curtis was judged the winning candidate at a final team selection session.
Debbie Orr, Crown Paints’ Marketing Manager, said: Curtis has shown incredible commitment and determination to travel to the other side of the world and compete for his country in Brazil.
“We wish him all the very best of luck. Curtis has been totally committed to this contest and he deserves his time in the spotlight.”
As Curtis flies over the Atlantic, already the next round of hopefuls are preparing to compete for glory in the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year contest – and many might be having their eye on the WorldSkills competition for 2017, which is taking place in the United Arab Emirates.
Debbie added: “The Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition touches the lives of hundreds of apprentices and trainees at the start of their careers, and encourages them to strive for excellence in their craft and reach the very highest professional standards.
“What really sets our competition apart is the opportunities it brings at a national and international level.
“To compete in front of thousands of people at The Skills Show is an extraordinary experience.
“To also have the chance to complete in WorldSkills is nothing short of phenomenal.”
See a video of Curtis in training before the Brazil trip at https://www.youtube.com/user/CrownTradeTV
The 43rd WorldSkills Competition will take place at Anhembi Parque, São Paulo, Brazil from 11 to 16 August 2015.