Edinburgh College student named 2017 UK Paint Apprentice of the Year

Edinburgh College apprentice Stefano La Greca has been named Paint Apprentice of the Year at the national Bodyshop Magazine Awards 2017.

Stefano, a Vehicle Painting apprentice at the college, was selected as the winner ahead of competitors from across the UK.

Stefano, who works for DSL Autos, qualified for the final after competing against fellow apprentices from across the UK at a competition event in London. A panel of experts then compared Stefano’s work against the other four finalists before declaring him the winner.

He received his prize at the competition awards ceremony in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole in Birmingham.

Stefano said: “The whole thing is pretty surreal! When I compared myself to who I was up against for the award I have to say that I wasn’t feeling very confident but I guess I had nothing to lose so I just relaxed and enjoyed myself. When I saw my name and picture come up on the screen I couldn’t believe it. Huge thanks to my employers DSL Autos and to all the lecturers at Edinburgh College. Having their support throughout the competition really helped and I can’t thank them enough.”

Jim McCann, an Automotive Engineering lecturer at Edinburgh College, has worked with Stefano over the course of his apprenticeship.

Jim said: “We’re all delighted for Stefano. He is an extremely enthusiastic student who is always keen to help others. This award is testament to the very high standard of workmanship during the practical assessments, and excellent knowledge and commitment throughout the course. He has displayed his talents throughout his time on the course with the college and with his employer. This award is great recognition for all the hard work he’s put in over the past couple of years and we couldn’t be happier for him.”

As an extra way to commemorate his win, Stefano also received a specially customised spray gun, inscribed with his name, which was donated by automotive refinishing company Devilbiss.

The full list of winners from the Bodyshop Magazine Awards 2017 is available via the Bodyshop website.