Sam paints his way to apprentice award success

Apprentice painter and decorator Sam Hillman is celebrating after taking one of the top prizes at Wiltshire College’s annual Apprenticeship Awards.

The award put a high gloss finish on an excellent 12 months for the 19-year-old, who is brushing up on his skills through an apprenticeship with Aster Property. Sam outstripped all his course mates to be named the college’s painting and decorating Apprentice of the Year. He received his award from Devizes MP Claire Perry, at a specially-arranged ceremony held at Wiltshire College’s brand-new Chippenham campus.

It’s the second time in two years that the Melksham teenager, who joined Aster in August 2015 and is currently working towards an NVQ Level 2 qualification in painting and decorating, has been recognised for his outstanding work. He previously won Wiltshire College’s Student of the Year award in 2014.

Sam said: “I’d thought about becoming an electrician originally but since I discovered painting and decorating, I absolutely love it. I found out a couple of weeks before the ceremony that I’d been chosen for Apprentice of the Year and I’m really proud to have won awards in two consecutive years.

“At Aster, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so many new skills – as well as painting, I’ve done some wallpapering, tiling and grouting, so there’s lots of variety there. And the rest of the team I work with are great too – there’s always someone to ask if I do need any advice.”

Robert Hyslop, Aster Property planned maintenance team leader for Wiltshire, who accompanied Sam to the awards ceremony, said: “Sam has produced some excellent work since he joined us and he shows tremendous promise. Not only does he have a great flair for the job, he combines that natural talent with an excellent work ethic. He always wants to improve and be the best he possibly can be, and his attitude is first class.

“He has all of the attributes needed to build himself a very long and successful career as a painter and decorator and is a great example to follow for any young people considering a trade career.”

For more information about careers with Aster, including apprenticeship opportunities, please visit the Aster Group website.