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Craig: 'A strong start is key to success'

8th May 2014
Craig: 'A strong start is key to success'
We recently hosted a Johnstone’s Young Painter of the Year heat at our Centre of Excellence in Stoke-on-Trent - a competition that our very own painter and decorator Craig Martin has twice won. In this blog, Craig -who recently won a Novus Excellence Award - imparts a few words of wisdom on budding painters and decorators and explains why he decided to take up the skill.
After I finished school I really wanted to learn a trade, and to me, painting and decorating was the perfect option. It was the job satisfaction that appealed to me - seeing the results of your work in front of you is really rewarding and I knew it was a skill that I could really fine-tune and perfect.

I began working as an apprentice for Novus eight years ago, and during my training I gained my NVQ Level 3 in painting and decorating. I entered the Johnstone's Young Painter of the Year competition in 2008 and 2009 and was thrilled to have won both times - I entered because I thought that being in the competition would make me stand out from the crowd and really improve my employability.

Much like this year’s contestants I took part in regional heats and during the competition, I enjoyed travelling to new and interesting places and meeting new people. The competition itself is nerve-wracking and I’m in no doubt that the young people taking part this year will be anxious too, but it’s all part of the experience. The pressure of the event stands you in good stead for the future and prepares you for the demands of clients in the real world.

If I had any advice for the painters and decorators of the future it would be to build strong foundations – if you set out your work in the right way from the very start you can do little wrong. I’d also say don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for competitions like the Johnstone's Young Painter of the Year but, most importantly, be sure that you take the advice of those more experienced than you. You’ll learn lots from those who have been in the trade for the longest.
I believe that taking part in the competition furthered my career and secured my job and I hope to build on the experience I already have and work my way up the career ladder.

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