Apprentices ready to get pasted at ‘3 length challenge’



Scottish Painting and Decorating apprentices are set to take a pasting in a new competition of speed and skill next week at South Lanarkshire College.

‘The 3 length challenge’ pits Painting and Decorating (P&D) apprentices from different colleges against each other and the clock to be the fastest two-person team to hang three strips of wallpaper.

The fun event – conceived and supported by Scottish Decorators’ Federation with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – will take place on Tuesday, May 19th from 1pm at South Lanarkshire College during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

Since its launch early last week, the competition has sparked a lot of interest with 24 apprentices (12 teams) already signed up from South Lanarkshire College (SLC), West College Scotland (Clydebank campus) and Glasgow Clyde College (Anniesland campus).

And SLC lecturers will be teaming up in a ‘beat the teacher’ theme to raise the stakes even more.

The Guinness World record for a similar exercise is a speedy 1minute 16.435 seconds, achieved by P&D professionals Phil Burgess and Simon Whitaker on 16 November 2011.

Brendan Keenan, Honorary Vice President of Scottish Decorators’ Federation, who will be adjudicating at the event, said: “The competition is a bit of lighthearted fun and a great way to show how apprentices can rise to the challenge while encouraging interest in paper hanging.”

Brian Hannigan, Curriculum Manager at South Lanarkshire College said: “The event has really taken off with students quickly signing up and no doubt keen to earn bragging rights – and prizes – to be crowned the fastest team and the winning college.

“We have a set of rules and we’ll just have to wait and see if anyone can get close to the World Record. With this kind of interest, the event could turn into an annual competition.”

Phil Ford, Strategic Partnerships Director at CITB Scotland said: “This is a fun way to get apprentices engaged in practicing essential skills which they will need during their working career. It also encourages a level of healthy competition to help apprentices focus on speed, accuracy and quality when carrying out the challenge.”

Ian Rogers, Chief Executive of Scottish Decorators’ Federation said: “What a fantastic opportunity for the young people to go head to head with the lecturers and show them how it’s done!”

The competition will be held in the Painting department of the college where an audience of supporters will be cheering on the contenders.


Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of Scottish Decorators’ Federation. For further information please contact:

SDF: Jenny Kumar – 07989 557198 /

CITB: Lauren Ferson – 07867 192479 /

South Lanarkshire College: 01355 807639 /

Notes to editor

  • Two person teams are to take part with one person pasting and the second hanging the paper.
  • Each college will have its own competing bay, timekeeper and adjudicator.
  • The wallpaper lengths for each competing team will be pre-cut
  • The vertical stripe pattern of the wallpaper does not require matching
  • Timing will begin when the first paste contacts the paper and end when the bottom of the third length is cut.