APPRENTICE painters and decorators in Worcestershire have just days left to enter a prestigious national contest celebrating emerging talent.

The Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition gives students the chance to test their skills against peers from all over the UK – with a £1,000 first prize at stake. But the closing date for the competition is drawing near as entries must be submitted by Friday, March 11.

Regional heats for the annual tournament, which supports training and education for the next generation of painting and decorating professionals, will be held throughout the country during the summer. Twelve finalists will be chosen to battle it out at The Skills Show, a major industry event to be held at the NEC in Birmingham from November 17-19.

Debbie Orr, marketing manager for Crown Trade, said: “As a business, we understand the importance of investing in and developing the next generation of industry professionals. This is a competition which touches the lives of hundreds of people at the start of their careers, encourages them to strive for excellence in their craft and reach the highest standards. It’s a great opportunity for Worcestershire apprentices to show just how well they’ve mastered the skills and techniques required.”

Apprentice decorators can to enter the competition at