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Lewisham College have launched Bell Group’s tenth painting and decorating academy in the UK, offering painting and decorating and multi-trade students the hands-on experience to succeed in the industry.

The launch of the Bell Decorating Academy took place at the Deptford campus on 14 November, and included a talk from Bell Group’s CEO Craig Bell about what the partnership will provide to students. At the end of the talk, Craig opened the session up to questions so students were able to ask about the Academy, the industry and Bell Group as an employer.  

Students asked a range of questions from rates of pay for tradespeople in London, to the types of work available – and way leadership skills are developed in painting and decorating.

David White, Deputy Principal said: “At a time when 1 in 3 construction jobs remain unfilled, the need for well-qualified and highly-skilled tradespeople has never been greater. This partnership offers a fantastic opportunity for our painting and decorating students to develop the skills to meet industry needs.”

Bell Group’s South London branch is located in nearby Orpington, allowing easy access for students to undertake work experience.

Craig Bell, CEO of Bell Group, said: “Bell Group is the largest employer of painting and decorating professionals in the UK, and we are serious about respecting and valuing our workforce. Our Senior Team are made up of people who started in the profession and have worked hard to progress through the ranks to the top. There is potential among this group of students to become the next generation of industry leaders.”

The College will welcome Bell Group employees into the College over the coming weeks to run specialist masterclasses in choosing the best paints for the job, tools and techniques, and practical application sessions.

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