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Cara Taylor wins Gold at Skills Competition Wales

7th June 2022

Y Prentis Painting & Decorating apprentice, Cara Taylor, has been awarded a Gold medal at Skills Competition Wales 2022 for her entry into the Painting and Decorating category. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the candidates executed the work at their individual campuses and Cara carried out her work at Cardiff and Vale College on the 10th of February 2022.

Cara was 1 of 5 candidates who participated in her category and she was surprised when she found out she won Gold, “When I entered the competition I didn't think I was going to win, I hoped I'd score high but I was just focusing on what needed to get done step-by-step and just try my best. I was shocked when I came first.”

Her Painting and Decorating Lecturer, Paul Oakey, said: “Cara has worked extremely hard to get ready for the competition and performed to a high level on the day. All her work was presented to an excellent standard and she looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself. I’m very proud of her accomplishment and the professionalism she has displayed.”

Since joining Y Prentis in August 2021, Cara has been hosted by T.J. Services (UK) Ltd, where she has been gaining her site experience. Stuart Kerr, Operations Director, testified: "Cara is an exceptional learner, punctual, hard-working, and passionate about the work she does! You can’t ask for more than that!”

Cara believes that it is a mixture of everything that helped her to achieve her award, “Y Prentis helped me get an apprenticeship and placed me with T.J. Services, which allowed me in turn to attend college. In college I learn different techniques, which I put into practice on-site and in college. This in turn helps me build confidence in my skills and helped create a positive mindset to achieve good results on the day.”

Y Prentis Programme Manager, Darryl Williams, said, “We are extremely proud of Cara. She has shown great commitment to her apprenticeship from the very start and it is fitting that she won Gold at the Skills competition. It is always fantastic when one of our apprentices receive recognition for their hard work and is a great reflection on our teams’ ability to spot talented individuals during the recruitment process.”

Cara explained that for the competition the entrants had three different instructions of measurements which they needed to set out onto three canvas boards. “One was measuring out the centre and setting out interlocking circles and finely cutting in the circles making sure they try get perfect lines and even opacity of the colours and that it stayed in the measurements given as one can lose points if the circles get bigger. The second was setting out the centre of a board and creating a boarder of certain measurements and putting a sticker transfer at the points stated in the instructions. The last set of instructions was applying wallpaper on a board around a wall socket and having to cut around it and match up patterns while cutting out a boarder at certain parts of the wallpaper.”

Cara believes the award will help her secure employment when she completes her apprenticeship, “I think this award will help me in my future career as it helped me learn more control over brush techniques to create straight lines and it will look good on future CVs.”