CROWN PAINTS APPRENTICE DECORATOR OF THE YEAR: MEET THE WINNER
With yet another successful Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year under our belt, we caught up with Aiden Dearie, who took the 2018 ‘gold’ title, to find out more about how he’s been getting on since his win.
How does it feel to have won Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year 2018?
It feels great! I’m really proud that I was able to accomplish such an achievement, and I’m delighted that my hard work has been recognised.
How did you celebrate your win?
I had a couple of beers and celebrated with other City Building Glasgow employees, and the news was shared with the local media which was exciting. My senior manager also congratulated me personally, which meant a lot.
How did you find the national finals?
This wasn’t the first time I’ve competed at WorldSkills UK LIVE and Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition, so I knew what to expect and was quite comfortable – this definitely made a difference to my nerves. As it’s in a public place, there’s a lot of people passing by and sometimes they shout encouraging comments or questions at you while you’re working, which can be distracting, but thankfully I was able to just ignore them and get on with what I needed to do.
How did you find working in the Apprentice Decorator of the Year environment?
It was fine for me as I’d already experienced it when I last competed. There was plenty of space and I took my time to lay out everything I needed before I started, which definitely made things easier for me.
What did you think of the design you had to recreate?
I thought it was a really good design and it meant that I was able to use all of the skills I have learned over the last three years as an apprentice, from working with paint to accuracy and working within a timeframe.
What did you find the most challenging about the competition?
I think the straight lines in the background of the design were the most challenging but luckily I had a steady hand on the day! Part of the design meant I had to use gold gilding which is challenging as it requires a steady hand, but I have used it before in one of the most prestigious buildings in Glasgow. I think this previous experience helped me focus while using gold gilding, as it’s not something that’s used every day.
What have you learnt from taking part in the competition?
I learnt a lot from taking part in the competition the first time around, which helped me this time. The first time I competed I was really nervous, so I knew this year I needed to remain calm and focus on getting the job in hand done well.
How do you think being named Apprentice Decorator of the Year will benefit you in the future?
I’ve already been offered a full time, permanent job at City Building Glasgow as a result of winning this award, which I’m really thankful for. It also means that my managers are aware of my skills and trust me to get on with my work.
What have your colleagues said about your win?
City Building Glasgow has been great at publicising my win amongst the workforce, and the executive director has congratulated me personally. I’ve had a bit of stick about it from my workmates, but it’s all in good fun and I know they’re really happy for me!
What advice would you give to anyone considering entering Apprentice Decorator of the Year in 2019?
I would definitely say to go for it. It’s a great experience and a great chance to push yourself – you’ll be really happy that you’ve done it and you’ll be proud of what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.