The annual Plaisterers’ Training Awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony at Plaisterers’ Hall to recognise the highest standards of achievement in training and education within the UK plastering trade.

Topping the bill was the Lifetime Contribution to Training Award, which went to David Hall, the National Technical Academy manager at British Gypsum, who has responsibility for five training academies across the UK.

David (pictured centre) has worked in plastering for well over 25 years, tirelessly putting in place and supporting the training, qualifications and competitions required to ensure the next generation of plasterers and dryliners have the skills the industry will need in the decades ahead. Along with his heavy involvement in the plastering competitions at SkillBuild and WorldSkills, David has also helped develop the new trailblazer qualifications for plastering and drylining.

Joseph Ross of FIS member Simplicity was named as Apprentice of the Year, a new award introduced in 2017 to increase the number of young apprentices in the trade who are growing their skills through study and hands-on experience. In his three years with the company, Joseph has contributed a variety of skills to key projects and been placed as runner-up in the 2017 SkillBuild finals.

The Student of the Year Award is all about individual excellence. This year’s winner is Stuart Smith of Hopwood Hall College. Motivated by a life-changing college open day, Stuart embarked on a new career. Since then, he has represented the college in the Junior SkillBuild competition and his impressive performance earned him an apprenticeship and technician job with the college.

The Formula Snelling Cup (sponsored by Saint Gobain Formula), which recognises achievement in fibrous and heritage plastering competence, went to B. Cunningham & Sons Plaster Mouldings of Newry for achievement of Heritage qualifications for its staff.

Now Get Qualified – an FIS Approved Training Provider – was awarded the British Gypsum Trophy in recognition of the all-important delivery of excellence in the skills and training for dryliners. The judges were impressed by the large numbers of learners supported, the conversion rate and the back-up information Now Get Qualified provides.