A chance brush with Painting and Decorating has seen an Apprentice from Clitheroe make great progress in his trade.

Jackson Whalley, 18, is working towards his Level 1 Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship with Nelson and Colne College Group and his Clitheroe-based uncle Simon Thompson of Thompson Décor.

Jackson has not looked back since making the switch from Carpentry and Joinery to Painting and Decorating when he started working with Simon in April last year. He is relishing getting to grips with his new trade working on a variety of Thompson Décor jobs from kitchens and bathrooms to elaborate wall murals.

Simon and Jackson supported Nelson and Colne College Group’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrations when they hosted Vice Principal Alison Rushton during a ‘Back to the Floor’ opportunity, showcasing the Painting and Decorating industry.

Jackson, formerly of Ribblesdale High School, said: “I love Painting and Decorating because every job is different. I think my favourite area of a property to decorate is the hall and stairs as I enjoy the challenge. I also love the satisfaction of finishing a job for a happy customer.

“I’m going to progress through the different levels of Apprenticeships to build my knowledge, skills and experience as I think it is important to do this. Long term, I would like to have the skills and expertise that Simon has and be self-employed.”

Simon said: “I’m grateful for the visit of Vice Principal Alison Rushton during National Apprenticeship Week, as it was great chance to be able to celebrate Jackson’s talent, impact and progress.

“I’m very impressed with the way he is rapidly developing his skills and his attention to detail is strong. For example, I already have the confidence in him to apply finishing coats to doors and other woodwork which is remarkable and very unusual for an Apprentice at Level 1.

“It was also a good opportunity to share how grateful I am for Nelson and Colne College’s Group’s continued commitment to offering Level 3 Painting and Decorating Apprenticeships.

“Not all colleges offer this, but I think it is invaluable for the industry to skill up-and-coming Painting and Decorating Apprentices up to Level 3, and it is a real feather in the cap of colleges that do offer it.”

Alison said: “It was lovely to meet Simon and Jackson and understand in greater detail the work that they do and how we as a College Group can improve the way we support the Painting and Decorating sector and Apprentices working within it, in line with the demands and needs of industry.

“I’m delighted to hear that Jackson is making great strides in his Apprenticeship too and most importantly that he is thriving in a Painting and Decorating environment and is enjoying learning his trade.”

Following the successful merger between Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College, the range of Apprenticeships offered by the Nelson and Colne College Group has expanded.

Sectors in the Group offer include: Business and Professional Services; Catering and Hospitality; Construction Trades and Building Services; Education and Childcare; Engineering; Hair and Beauty; Health and Social Care; Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair; Retail, Sales and Customer Service; Sport and Leisure.

The Nelson and Colne College Group is the number one college in Lancashire for employer satisfaction, based on the government’s FE Choices Employer Survey.

If you are interested in starting an Apprenticeship with the Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today by calling 01282 440319 or visit www.nelson.ac.uk/apprenticeships.