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How to get started in the industry


There are no set entry requirements to train as a painter and decorator, although GCSEs/Standard Grades in Maths, English and Technology may be helpful for the calculations, measurements and theory.

Apprenticeships are the usual route in and enable you to earn while you learn. Entry to an apprenticeship scheme will usually involve a selection test. You will also need a keen interest in art and design.

Qualifications are available throughout your career as a painter and decorator. As an apprentice painter and decorator in England and Wales you would initially work towards a Construction Award which recognises training, then once you have sufficient experience in the workplace you can achieve the NVQ at level 2 or 3.

In Scotland the process is slightly different, here they offer a Skills for Work Initative for students from 14-16, giving a chance to train for a vocational qualification in construction. In addition there are also the Modern Apprenticeships at SVQ level 3 and this can also be combined with an Advanced Craft Certificate giving Scottish decorators a very sound grounding in to the painting and decorating industry.


How we can help you

ICI Paints is offering a series of initiatives to help bring new people into the industry and support those who have already established themselves as a painter and decorator by trade.

The first is a series of national training courses, for those that want to learn and brush up on new techniques. Offered at the Dulux Trade Professional Skills Centres, courses range from spray painting to interior design to help you and your business.

This is also supported by our online business fact sheets, which offer simple guidelines on running a successful business, from setting up a new company to finance issues and marketing.

ICI Paints also supports colleges offering painting and decorating courses, with an interactive training CD - that allows students to work through a module and then test themselves on what they have just learnt, on everything from paint finishes, to brush types.



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