After weeks of careful preparation and stiff competition from other apprentices Sarah Bromley, who works as an apprentice signwriter at Arkell’s Brewery and attends Swindon College, has been named the winner of the Somerset heat of the 2014 Dulux Decorator Centres Apprentice of the Year.
Sarah, who began working at Arkell’s last year, lives in Swindon and is now heading for the grand final which takes place at Durham College on 10 and 11 June and brings together nine other regional finalists, all aiming to win the prestigious 2014 title.
Not daunted by the mounting pressure, Sarah rose to the challenge and successfully completed a practical work piece, which saw her use a range of skill sets, including: wallpapering, stencilling, waterborne glossing and various other special effects.
Few breweries continue the traditional art of pub signwriting on site, preferring to get signs printed. However, Arkell’s Brewery thinks that it is part and parcel of running a traditional family brewery.
George Arkell said: “Sarah is helping us keep the tradition of brewery sign writing alive and we’re absolutely delighted that her work has been recognised in this way."
Speaking at the event Sarah said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have come first and, although it was challenging, I really enjoyed the opportunity to take part. I’m now focused on the final and even though I know it will be tough, it’s just great to take part.”
College lecturer Angela Woolford added: “We’re really proud of Sarah and it’s great that she’s representing the college and heading for the final. The standard was really high and her skills were put fully to the test. This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talent and take part in a well-organised and professional competition and I’m looking forward to the final.”
At the final Sarah will have to complete a further practical piece, which will see her push her abilities to the maximum in a bid to be named Apprentice of the Year 2014. The final will then be followed up by a presentation evening at Lumley Castle in Durham, where the winner and runners up will be announced and awarded a range of prizes, including £1000 for the overall winner.
Beverley Whitehead, marketing communications manager at Dulux Decorator Centres – the UK’s leading painting and decorating specialist – said: “The competition is now in its seventh year and once again we’ve been highly impressed by the standard and skills of the apprentices.
"Everyone who has competed in the regionals should be extremely proud and Sarah in particular did an amazing job and is to be congratulated.”
For winning the heat, Sarah collected £100 worth of Dulux Decorator Centres vouchers, received a certificate and a goody bag full of decorating materials donated by the company’s suppliers, including the official sponsors: Shield, Purdy, 3M, Barrettine, Shield and Zarges.