Bright future awaits young apprentices on village school community project

Dave McCormick pictured with the apprentices and Bishop Wilson Primary School’s business manager Sharon Jones and head of school Suzanne Roberts

A TEAM of young apprentices face a bright future as their community makeover at a village school helps set them on the jobs ladder. 

Six students on a painting and decorating apprenticeship programme have been brushing up their jobs skills at Bishop Wilson Church of England Primary in Burton Village, redecorating the school in a partnership between Curtis Paint Group and Wirral Metropolitan College.

Behind the initiative is Curtis’ contracts manager Dave McCormick, himself a former apprentice, whose “gift” of the refurbishment work serves a dual purpose – to provide the apprentices with valuable experience of the real world of work and to give a bright new look to the school.

Painting and decorating materials for the project have also been supplied free of charge by Bromborough Paints.

Dave said: “Although we are one of the biggest industrial and commercial painting contractors in the region, working in the local community is an important part of our company ethos.

“When we heard that Bishop Wilson Primary was in need of a painting facelift it was a project where we were delighted to become involved.

“It also meant we could introduce students to a real working environment to complement their college learning. Not only have they been putting their painting and decorating skills to the test but also they’ve been pulling together as a professional team, gaining confidence and getting a valuable introduction to working and liaising with customers.

“As a business, we are totally committed to employing and developing young apprentices. They are the future of our industry, filling vital skills gaps being left as members of an older workforce retire.

“They are also coming in to the workplace at a time of an ever-increasing demand for painters and decorators as the economy picks up and the need grows for skilled people to contribute to many new large-scale construction projects and ongoing work at heritage sites.

This message was reinforced by Steve Kelsall, of Bromborough Paints, who said: “Keeping a continuous pipeline of young talent in the painting and decorating industry is vital to the success of the regional economy and to suppliers like ourselves.

“This is why we are happy to support Curtis Paint Group with their plans to set young people on the path to worthwhile careers as painters and decorators.”

Among the young team on the Bishop Wilson project was Curtis’ own new apprentice Liam Turner, working alongside the Wirral Met cohort of Callum Richards, Michael Croft, Tracey Rose, Callum Williams and George Jackson.

Sue Higginson, Wirral Metropolitan College principal, said: “We are delighted to be working with Curtis Paint Group to develop opportunities for our students to gain valuable work experience and we welcome their support.

“We look forward to seeing these students progress their careers across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.”

Helen Friend, executive headteacher at Bishop Wilson Primary, added: “We are incredibly grateful to the organisations that have supported this project. Without the willingness of Curtis Paint Group and Bromborough Paints, it wouldn’t have happened.

“Having the apprentices in school for two days was lovely and it was a privilege to be part of their journey into the world of work.

“Our children and staff are delighted by the facelift to the main areas of the school and promise to keep it as clean as possible!”

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