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Painting and Decorating Intermediate Apprenticeship at Gateshead College

Course description

If you like working in the building industry, working as a part of a team with an eye for perfection, this could be the career for you. Painters and Decorators work on new buildings, carry out repairs, work on homes, factories and any other building you can think

If you like to produce the perfect finish and have a keen eye for detail, this could be an ideal career for you. Painters and Decorators put the finishing touches to the building work carried out by other craftsmen. Their work is always on show.

You will need formal qualifications to become a Painter and Decorator and some on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before, you could work as a labourer to get site experience. Once working, your employer may offer you training in Painting and Decorating. The best way to become a Painter and Decorator is through an Apprenticeship programme.

To become a Painter and Decorator you will need to have an eye for detail. You will also need good maths skills for measuring and working out angles. As a Painter and Decorator you’ll need to follow technical drawings and plans.


Course content

  • Apply Paper to walls
  • Prepare surfaces for painting and decorating
  • Estimate the cost of materials
  • Read plans and specifications to determine the dimensions, materials required and installation processes
  • Apply specialist techniques for painting
  • Remove old paint and paper
  • Cut materials with hand tools and mark out
  • Fit coving and borders
  • Apply external and internal paint finishes

Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge, skills and gaining qualifications.  You will work towards:


  • National Vocational Qualification (NVQ Diploma) – recognises your competence in the workplace
  • Technical certificate – this demonstrates your technical knowledge and capability and provides underpinning knowledge to do your job
  • Functional skills – Mathematics, English at level 2

Entry requirements

  • Ideally you should have 4 GSCE grades A-D, however support is available to those who do not.
  • You will also need to be employed within the sector.
  • If you are not employed, however, it is still worthwhile applying to Gateshead College as we may be able to assist you in finding suitable employment or advise on another suitable course.
  • Advanced apprentices would also have to undergo numeracy and literacy tests, a skills test and an interview.


  • An NVQ assessor is responsible for visiting you in your workplace to assist you in compiling a portfolio of evidence. 
  • The technical certificate is assessed by assignments, project work and knowledge based tests whilst you attend the block and/or day release programme at the College. 
  • Functional skills are assessed by examination and portfolio. 
  • Apprentices who have the appropriate GCSE grades may be exempt from completing the examinations and/or the portfolio.

Future opportunities

With further training and experience, a Painter and Decorator can become a building supervisor, building or construction manager, building inspector, technical teacher, estimator, building contract administrator or purchasing officer.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 14 April 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • This 3000 square metre facility is home to all our construction trade courses such as plumbing, electrical installation, painting & decorating and plastering with dedicated areas for each trade as well as a modern café.

      The facility ensures students and construction industry employers can further benefit from the college's experience in delivering specialist training in green and renewable energy technologies.

      These include solar photovoltaic, solar heating, rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, heat pumps, biomass and combined heat and power training - all designed to enable the wider construction industry to gain new skills to remain competitive.