A young vehicle paint sprayer is delighted to have recently competed in the British ‘Paint Apprentice of The Year’ competition hosted by the WorldSkills UK.
David Ridley, a second-year apprentice with Gateshead College, is hopefully heading to London to take part in the vocational skills competition final, where he will battle against the top four paint sprayers from across the country.
The 19-year-old from Chichester, South Shields, was recently pitted against over 30 competitors across the UK after his excellent paint work and attention to detail was noticed during his Automotive Refinishing Apprenticeship at Vic Young garage.
The Vic Young body shop team is no stranger to the taste of success, after placing 2nd in Nissan’s Body shop of The Year award in 2017. Body shop Manager Alan Dean reached the final for Nissan Painter of the Year 1995, earning himself a prestigious trip to Japan.
As recognition of his excellent standard of work in the qualifiers, the budding young apprentice received a prestigious paint spray kit worth in the region of £600 thanks to Steve Keene at Supertune Automotive who donated the prize.
David is thrilled to have been nominated for such a difficult competition, saying that: “The standard of the competition was extremely high and I am hoping I have made it to the final.”
“The format of the final would be a real test. Contestants will be set 6 tasks altogether, which include painting the wing of a vehicle, repairing a car bumper, a polishing task and a colour matching task. I would be really up for the challenge.”
Managing Director, Vic Young said: “We have a great history of developing and nurturing talented apprentices and we have built our bodyshop around these capable individuals. As such, our bodyshop has won coveted industry opportunities and maintains a fantastic reputation in the Tyne & Wear region.”
Bodyshop Manager Alan Dean said: “I have every faith and hope in David that his great work in the qualifiers will see him reach the final. He’s been completing work of the highest standard for many of our customers, so his experience would bode him well.”
Joint Bodyshop Manager Darren Alderson said: “David has every chance of winning. The competition is stiff and he will have to be at the top of his game, but already he has made us, and himself, proud.”
When David left school at 16 he knew he’d prefer to complete an apprenticeship.
He said: “I wasn’t fond of the notion of being in a classroom most of the day. I much preferred the idea of using my hands to do something practical and learn new skills. The opportunity to learn how to professionally paint cars really appealed to me.”
If David is successful, he will compete in the final for top spot in London in November 2022.