In these days of economic uncertainty, it is nice to have a career path in front of you that you know will last the distance...

Having a painting and decorating qualification is just as valid today as it as it has been in the past and for those starting off on a painting and decorating career path, here is a story that should emphasise that they have made the right choice.

National Painting and decorating contractors, Bagnalls, recently received a letter from the other side of the world, which they were extremely happy to share. The email came from an ex-apprentice of the firm that wanted to thank them for setting him off on the right path over half a century ago.

Graham Dodd commenced an apprenticeship in 1967 with Bagnalls, at its office in Ellesmere Port, which is situated near Liverpool. In his letter, he explained that he had been clearing out rubbish in his loft and by chance came across his deeds of Apprenticeship. These deeds set him off on a career path that would give him 50 years of work and take him to Australia.

Mr Dodd is now resident in Australia and lives in Brisbane where he ran a painting and decorating contracting service for new houses and show homes for 26 years. He has recently closed his business and, since last Christmas, is now enjoying his retirement. He wrote the letter not only to give thanks for a fantastic career but also for another purpose. He wanted to use himself as an example to inspire today's new generation of young people starting off in this terrific industry. When you become a painter and decorator, everything is there for you to achieve. This is not only monetary but also something that is just as important; job security and satisfaction. It is by looking at professionals like Graham that will motivate apprentices today to take their career to new levels of achievement.

Bagnalls responded to the email by sharing his inspirational tale and saying that it is proud of the fact that 50 years on, those apprenticeships are still available, as is the job security and rewards.

This August, Graham Dodd will revisit the company where it all began!