West Suffolk College students wins gold medal at The Skills Show

A West Suffolk College student has proved he is one of the most talented young decorators in the country by winning a gold medal at The Skills Show.

Thomas Pawlowski, beat off stiff opposition from across the UK by achieving great marks for a complicated room set he had to paint and wallpaper. He was already the East’s regional champion when he went to the UK final in Birmingham competing alongside nearly 200 others in 55 different skills.

The competition for students and young apprentices is organised by World Skills UK and eighteen year old Thomas’s gold means that he is now on course to meet the best in Europe in Budapest next year then skilled young painters and decorators from across the world at the World Skills final in Russia in 2019.

Thomas, from Bury St Edmunds, who has been at the college’s Milburn Campus for three years, said; “The competition was very stressful and it was difficult to complete it in the 19 hours over two days. I was really shocked when I won.”

He was the only student competing in his class who was not an apprentice and hopes that he will be able to start his own decorating business.

The competition involved work that he had studied at college but the area had to be decorated a certain way working out written instructions first.

Thomas said he had studied art at GCSE and was interested in decorating so thought he would see if he was really going to like it. Now he is looking at staying at the college to take a degree in Interior Design with the University of Suffolk to add skills to his business plans.

His painting skills have already been admired by others at the Milburn campus as he has painted several walls including a night time scene of the Bury St Edmunds skyline in reception.

This year joiner, and former West Suffolk College student, Conor Willmott was awarded a medal of excellence when he competed at the World Skills event in Abu Dhabi.

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