Painter and Decorator Apprenticeships

painter and decorator apprenticeships

Becoming a painter and decorator is a good career to be involved in as someone somewhere will always require to have their home or business premises painted or decorated. It’s a skill that’s very much in demand as not everyone has the patience and accuracy that’s required to complete a job successfully and with finishing touches.

Becoming a painter and decorator will see that you have a job for life which means job security and peace of mind as you’ll know that your skills and expertise are very much needed and not just here in the UK but throughout the world including countries like New Zealand, Australia and Canada to name just three.

What a painter and decorator does is they use a wide range of coverings that will enhance and also protect surfaces in your home or any other location. Surfaces may include wood, metal and plaster.

This job is ideally suited to someone who has plenty of patience, enjoys carrying out practical tasks and likes being artistic.

You’ll need good practical skills to become a painter and also good creative skills and you’ll need to have good attention to detail. Painters may also have to work at height, so it would be good if you can cope well at height.

Most employers look out for someone who already has some experience, so in order to get this experience you could become a painter and decorator’s labourer. Another way to gain experience is by an apprenticeship scheme, where you’re trained up by an expert at their trade. Let’s look more closely at what an apprenticeship scheme is really all about.

What exactly is an apprenticeship scheme?

Apprenticeship schemes are for anyone who wants to enter into the construction industry in this case it’s becoming a painter and decorator. You are trained up by an expert at their trade who will guide you through your training passing down all the skills and knowledge that they themselves would have gained throughout their own careers. You can only imagine just how much expertise they have and are willing to share with you so that you too can become just as knowledgeable and skilled in your own career.

You will be trained up so that you meet with the current industry standards which will prove that you have all the knowledge and skills required to carry out a job safely and competently. At the end of your training you’ll receive your certificate which again is your proof that you can carry out a job successfully.

Apprenticeships are best suited to those who are just out of school the majority of apprentices are between the ages of 16 and 24 anyone over these ages will find themselves struggling to be accepted on an apprenticeship scheme, it’s not totally impossible but just remember you probably will find it harder to be accepted than those within this age range.

Apprenticeships usually take between 2 and 4 years to complete and your training is split between practical and theory lessons. Obviously the practical sides of training will take place when you’re out and about with your boss carrying out jobs around people’s homes or other locations. The theory all takes place in the classrooms of your local college or training centre. On completion of the apprenticeship you will have your full Painter and Decorator qualifications.

You really should value this time spent training with your boss they really are there to help and guide you and remember this is an opportunity not given to many, so please make the most of it, you can’t learn everything by a textbook, experience is really the key. There is also another hidden bonus when being trained up as an apprentice that you may not have thought of yet, just imagine how many different people you’ll be meeting with, people like tradesmen, construction workers and suppliers and it’s these people who may in the future be able to help you in your own career as a painter and decorator.

So like I say not only are you being trained up by an expert at their trade and are gaining all their knowledge and skills but you’re also meeting with people who could potentially help set you up at your own career. Not everyone has the chance so please make the most of it and enjoy this time.

Apprentices are paid as they train and are fully entitled to holidays

Apprentices are fully entitled to at least the minimum wage which is £2.73 an hour, to get this amount you have to be between 16 and 18 and you’ll also get this amount if you’re aged 19 or over and are currently in your first year of training. What you’ll receive above these figures basically comes down to your boss and how much extras they are willing to offer you.

These figures are based on the hours you’ll be working, which is usually 30 hours a week for apprentices and also includes any other training that’s part of your apprenticeship scheme, which is usually carried out once a week.

Apprentices are fully entitled to holidays too you’ll have at least 20 paid holiday days a year and also any bank holidays.

How do you go about getting on an apprenticeship scheme?

This can be the hardest part of it all just getting accepted, unfortunately it doesn’t come easy. There are only a few allocated spaces given to apprenticeships each year and I’m sure as you can imagine competition is very fierce as everyone who’s just out of school and wanting to enter into the construction industry really tries to get on an apprenticeship scheme.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to become an apprentice, but what I would say is that you really do need the determination to succeed and try your hardest. Also you do have to have normal colour vision.

So yes it’s a fantastic opportunity but it can be tricky being accepted. Remember the age limit is between 16 and 24 for apprentices, you can be accepted over theses ages but it does get much harder. It’s not impossible so it’s always worth ringing up a few painter and decorators in your area to see if they are planning on taking on apprentices. If they aren’t taking on you never know they may know of someone who is and you might just be one of the lucky ones. So yes it is more difficult but it’s not impossible.

What can I do if I’m not accepted?

If the worst comes to the worst and you’ve tried all avenues and you still can’t get accepted the first thing to do is to not give yourself a hard time, remember there are only a few spaces each year and competition is high, just as long as you’ve tried don’t be too disappointed there are many other routes into the painter and decorator trade. These other routes include college courses and also training centres. Training centres are a fantastic way into the construction industry and the allow you to really get hands on at your chosen trade. Training is split between theory and practical with the theory lessons taking place in the air conditioned classrooms and the practical takes place in the workshops, where all the magic happens, this is the place where all that learning about your chosen trade can be put into practice. Training centre are located all over the UK so there is bound to be close to you. Your local college will also have painter and decorator courses available which are another great option. SO don’t be too disappointed about not getting accepted on an apprenticeship scheme there really are other good options out there equally as good. So keep on trying and you wills succeed.

For lots more help and advice!

For much more info on apprenticeships the government has a “National Apprenticeship Helpline” where you will be provided with more advice and help call them on 08000150600.

Or alternatively there’s a website available with more info and you can request an information pack visit


Well that’s me off then, I’ve come to the end of my article on painter and decorator apprenticeships. As you can see it’s a great way into the construction industry and will open many doors for you and your career. Just don’t be too disheartened if you aren’t accepted as like I say there are many other great routes into your chosen trade. So good luck with it all!