An Accrington and Rossendale College Painting and Decorating Apprentice is through to the final of the prestigious World Skills competition.

Megan Talbot, 20, from Rawtenstall, is in the final eight of the painting and decorating competition, and will head to the NEC in Birmingham in November to test her skills over the course of a gruelling three days.

Level 3 Apprentice Megan, who is employed by Gladwin’s Decorators, has secured her place in the final after the completion of 15 regional heats, where approximately 20 students or Apprentices competed against one another.

All aspects of Megan’s painting and decorating abilities will be tested in the final, including setting out, wallpaper hanging, paint application and cutting in, stencil manufacture and application, and sign writing.

Megan, formerly of Alder Grange School in Rawtenstall, said: “I’m very excited to be in the final. I’ve taken part in a number of other competitions before, and I have done well in them, but I think this a much higher level and my skills will be pushed to the limit.

“I’m waiting on sign off to finish my Apprenticeship now, and I’ll be continuing with my employer Gladwin’s Decorators going forward. However, I will be returning to College two nights a week to work on my techniques and to prepare for the competition final under the watchful eye of my tutors.

“I’ve had a brilliant experience at Accrington and Rossendale College, and I’m so grateful for the support, guidance and knowledge that I have received from my tutors Phil and Simon who have really helped me to develop my skills.”

Simon Whitaker, Painting and Decorating Lecturer/Assessor at Accrington and Rossendale College, said: “Megan has had an incredible journey here at College. Her passion to succeed has driven to her to the highest level of attainment and she has not looked back since beginning on the Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship route. She really shone in the regional stage and we’re incredibly proud of her achievements.

“She has shown a natural talent for painting and decorating, and has combined this with an outstanding attitude to continuously improve and develop her techniques and skills.

“Accrington and Rossendale College Apprentices and students have the opportunity to take part in regional and national competitions such as World Skills on an annual basis to stretch their talents, push them out of their comfort zones, and challenge them on tasks that they may not face in their day to day work with employers or within College.”

Accrington and Rossendale College is in the top 10 colleges in the country for 16-18 timely Apprenticeship achievement, at all levels, and classroom learning achievement at Level 3. The college improved by 50 and 91 places, respectively, in those measures in the 2019 National Achievement Rate Tables published by the government.

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