York College

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Industry Insights

Painters and decorators

Up to £19,000

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Vehicle paint technicians

Up to £28,000

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Glass and ceramics makers, decorators and finishers

Up to £16,000

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Why Painting & Decorating?

A painting and decorating apprenticeship will teach you how to prepare surfaces, match colours, apply coatings and wallpaper and work with a variety of materials like gloss and Artex. You will also learn specialist techniques like marbling and rag-rolling to create decorative effects and spraying.

Qualification and Level

Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) or Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting. Most candidates start on an Intermediate Apprenticeship and progress to the Advanced Level although the level may be determined by the role in the workplace and previous qualifications.

What Will Be Studied?

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting.

Units include:

  • Knowledge of technical information, quantities and communication with others
  • Prepare surfaces for decoration
  • Apply paint systems by brush and roller
  • Apply standard papers to ceilings and walls
  • Produce specialist decorative finishes
  • Apply paint systems by HVLP spray

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting College based units include:

  • Prepare surfaces for protection and decoration
  • Apply coatings by brush and roller
  • Apply wall coverings to ceilings and walls
  • Produce specialist decorative finishes
  • Apply paint systems by airless spray

Additional Study

  • Functional Skills in Maths and English
  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities

What is the Entry Criteria?

To start the course you must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

In addition, for an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) candidates should have four GCSE’s at Grade D/3 or higher to include Maths and English. Any candidtae without Maths and English C/4 will be required to attend Functional Skills classes. You must have completed the Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) prior to starting the Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3).

Method of Delivery

Apprentices attend College on block release (two weeks per half term approximately) depending on timetable and work for their employer the rest of the time.

How is the Qualification Assessed?

For the NVQ you will build up a portfolio, which is a collection of examples or evidence of your work that demonstrates your skills and ability, including a work diary, photos, statements from your employer and colleagues and examples of completed tasks. Assessment consists of practical tasks, observations, oral questioning, written questions, assignments, projects and written tests.

The Diploma is assessed using both practical and written tests.

The Functional Skills element is assessed through online tests.


The Intermediate Apprenticeship takes two years to complete.

The Advanced Apprenticeship takes one year to complete.

What Next?

Many learners progress from the Intermediate Apprenticeship to the Advanced Apprenticeship. There is then the opportunity to progress to higher-level courses such as the National Certificate or National Diploma in Construction.

Need Help?

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