TWO apprentices from Bradford have been crowned the top two in their field in the country at a national awards ceremony.

Lewis Boyle, 19, was crowned Apprentice/Trainee of the Year at the 31st Premier Trophy Awards, organised by the Painting and Decorating Association.

Abi Johnson, 21, was named in second place, securing a one-two for Bradford at the glamorous event held at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

Lewis and Abi, who are both studying towards NVQ Level 3 qualifications at Leeds College of Building, triumphed over 26 other apprentices from across the UK earlier this year in a gruelling six-hour competition.

Lewis has been employed as an apprentices at Bagnalls in Shipley for the past two years, while Abi works for Bradford Council.

Lewis said: “I entered because I thought it would be a great achievement if I won.

“I’m over the moon that I did and it’s something I will take with me forever.”

Abi added: “Having won the competition last year it would have been great to win again, but Lewis is a really good friend and I am delighted that he came first.”

Stephen Bagnall, managing director of Bagnalls Group, was at the event to see Lewis presented with his prize.

He said: “Lewis has continued to show promise throughout his apprenticeship, with his win at last year’s PDA Paperhanging competition and now being named winner of the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

“The expectations and timescales of these apprentice competitions are very testing and Lewis has obviously demonstrated a high level of skill across the board.

“I must also acknowledge the excellent support Lewis and other apprentices receive from the tutors at Leeds College of Building and of course our own Craft Tutor, Barry Caple, at the Bagnalls’ Academy.”

Neil Ogilvie, chief executive of the PDA, said: “This is a great result for Bradford and both students are a credit to Leeds College of Building.

“The competition is not an easy one, but both students demonstrated exceptional skills and their work was faultless.

“On behalf of the PDA I would like to congratulate Lewis and Abi, as well as all of the other competitors, for their incredible sportsmanship and I wish them all the best for their future careers.”

As well as a trophy and certificate, Lewis won a £500 voucher for painting shop Purdy, and a range of gifts from Dulux Trade.