At the age of 17 David Olden was unsure of his next steps for his future and his career, but only a few years on he is doing an apprenticeship and has proved he is on the ladder to success after coming first in the painting and decorating category of the West Midlands regional heat of SkillBuild – the UK’s largest multi-trade competition.
David, joined South Birmingham College to do an introductory course to a range of construction skills. He knew he was artistic and enjoyed painting, so the time spent learning about painting and decorating helped him decide to pursue that as a career.
David enrolled on to the Diploma in Painting and Decorating Level 1 and is now on the Level 3 Diploma course whilst also working as an apprentice for a local construction and refurbishment company, GD Limited, which he got through the college. “I chose South Birmingham College to do a course painting and decorating as it is known as the best college in the area for doing construction-related courses. Traditional education didn’t interest me, I wanted to do something more fun and artistic so painting was the perfect option and I was interested in an apprenticeship so I could earn and learn at the same time.
“When I was in my second year a local construction company came to the college looking for apprentices and I was selected. I now work four days a week and study at the college on one day. It is great getting the experience in a real workplace, and I have found that sometimes I can teach painters I’m working with who have been doing it for 30 years about a new type of paint or a new technique because we are learning the up-to-date stuff. Getting so much hands-on experience through the apprenticeship has really motivated me to push myself further.”