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Painting and Decorating Apprentice named winner of The Nation’s A* Apprentice Award

Lily Moore, a painting and decorating apprentice from Bolton, Greater Manchester, has been announced as one of three winners of The Nation’s A* Apprentice Award 2024.

The award, launched by Markel Direct, the specialist tradespeople insurer, recognises those who have gone above and beyond in their role as a trades apprentice and aims to celebrate the outstanding work skilled trades apprentices all over the UK are doing within their workplace.

Lily faced stiff competition from nominations across the UK, and was selected by the judging panel of Rob Rees, Divisional Director of Markel Direct, Louis Timpany, Founder and CEO of Fix Radio and James Wilson, Marketing Manager at Festool UK. Lily was presented with a development package consisting of a Festool toolkit and accessories worth £4,000, a £750 voucher to spend on TuffStuff workwear and 24-hour tools cover for a year from Markel Direct.

Lily was nominated for the award by her employer, Andrew Hamilton of AR Decor, who described Lily as a “real breath of fresh air” and that “from day one, she’s shown so much interest in our trade and it shows with her work. She’s not afraid to try new things and she’s also not afraid to ask questions when she’s struggling – that’s very important to me.”

When asked about winning the prize, Lily said: “I am absolutely buzzing to have won this award, and also to be representing females in the trade. I feel like I’ve now got a head start having my very own Festool toolkit as well as £750 to spend on workwear. I might even treat my bosses to some new work clothes! It’s a total dream and I’m really proud of myself.”

The other winners of the award were Alfie Kinsella, a carpentry and joinery apprentice from Fallowfield, and Dakota O’Brien, an electrical apprentice from Moston.

Rob Rees, Divisional Director of Markel Direct, commented: “It is no secret the important role that apprentices will play in the future of the trades and construction industry, and our three winners are a clear example of how attitude and hard graft can get you a long way. To be recognised for this award is a great achievement for Lily, Alfie and Dakota, and I want to congratulate them all on their success.”

To find out more about the apprentices’ achievements, and the judges’ comments, visit