GATIS CELMINS CROWNED AS APPRENTICE DECORATOR OF THE YEAR 2019
Bell Group’s Gatis Celmins, 35, has emerged as the winner of the 2019 Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition after a gruelling three-day contest hosted at the WorldSkills UK LIVE event at Birmingham’s NEC.
The Inverness UHI apprentice triumphed over eight other finalists thanks to the quality of his careful setting out and excellent time management, completing the complex design we set to an exceptionally high standard.
Gatis had impressed the judges with his attention to detail and good brushwork in the regional heats earlier this year, but the final required a step up from all competitors, as well as the ability to deal with the pressure-cooker environment of the packed NEC conference hall, with lots of noise and potential distractions all around.
He was joined on the podium by silver medallist Lewis Metcalfe and bronze medallist Abi Johnson, both of whom studied at Leeds College of Building and are employed by Bagnalls.
In the final, the competitors had 18 hours over three days to complete the decorating challenge , which was a celebration of our 40-year sponsorship of the Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition and featured metallic paint as well as a complex multi-coloured streamer effect, half of which the finalists had to paint freehand.
All finalists were closely observed by a judging panel that included Crown Paints’ competition manager Kevin O’Donnell, and Ben Deer, himself a former Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year.
Gatis said: “Reaching the final meant a great deal to me, and I’m happy to have achieved one of my goals. I’m very proud of myself to be an Apprentice Decorator of the Year winner – it’s proof that hard work pays off.”
As well as marking the 40th anniversary of our sponsorship of the competition with the impressive final design, we also celebrated with the launch of the Apprentice Decorator of the Year 40th Anniversary Yearbook, which celebrates the past, present and future of the competition.
The Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition is organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and is also sponsored by other industry leaders such as British Gypsum.
The final was once again held as part of the SkillBuild event, organised by CITB as part of WorldSkills UK LIVE, at Birmingham’s NEC over three days from 21st to 23rd November. It is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices and covers a range of skills and sectors from bricklaying and cabinet making to plastering and stonemasonry.