A PAINTING and decorating apprentice has become a recipient of a prestigious Ayrshire College award.

Frankie O’Dea became one of Persimmon's first apprentices of this trade when he took up the role last year.

It was a job opportunity afforded to him through his excellent work and learning at Ayrshire College.

Frankie's abilities were further highlighted last month when he given the College's John Mather Award.

Each year, students at Ayrshire College receive the award which consists of new tools to enable them to make their way into the world of work without the fear of financial difficulties for essential equipment.

The award is organised by the John Mather Trust to continue John Mather’s lifelong interests in arts and culture, entrepreneurialism and employability skills in the west of Scotland.

Trustees make grants of up to £10,000 to a number of organisations each year, though larger amounts or multi-year funding can also be considered.

The house builder, which works in partnership with Ayrshire College, first spotted Frankie through his work in the college, and offered him his first taste of construction with a SVQ level 6 apprenticeship in painting and decorating.

Frankie, alongside fellow apprentice Shannon McLaughlin, became the first apprentice painters and decorators for the company in the west of Scotland in August 2023, with both working on local developments for the company.

Frankie commented: “I’m delighted to have received the John Mather Award at Ayrshire College, which helped with providing essential tools for my trade on site.

“My construction career started when Persimmon gave me the opportunity to work on their Irvine development in North Ayrshire as a painting and decorating apprentice.

"The guidance and support since starting has been phenomenal and I would like to thank the company for the opportunity.”

William Smith, regional apprentice manager at Persimmon added: “We are delighted that Frankie has been honoured with the John Mather Award from Ayrshire College.

"His time with Persimmon has been impressive and he continues to set high standards.

“As one of Persimmon’s first painting and decorating apprentices in Scotland, he is demonstrating that a career in construction is open to everyone.

"The award is a fitting recognition of Frankie’s hard work and determination to succeed.”