A Bristol-based woodworking apprentice is competing for the coveted W Challenge at W16 currently underway at Birmingham’s NEC.
Liam Martin, 19, is currently completing his Level 3 apprenticeship training with furniture joinery Traditional Woodworks Ltd. He is also competing against three finalists to see who gets to take home the prize.
Martin, who has been working with wood since the age of 11, said: “I’ve always been interested in joinery and I have fond memories of helping my grandad make furniture in his garage. To be a finalist in a national woodworking competition is a great feeling and I’m excited to be given an opportunity to showcase the talents I’ve learnt during my apprenticeship.”
The final, which has been organised by training provider, Didac, is running alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, and will see Liam create a unique piece of furniture over the event’s four-day period.
The short time frame will be pretty challenging but I’m keen to show the judges my technical skills under pressure. It will be a great experience and I’m excited to take part,” Martin said, ahead of the show. The brief was kept ‘top secret’ and only revealed to the competitors as the show opened yesterday.
Jon Gibson, managing director of Didac, said: “Didac is committed to promoting the importance of apprenticeships in the woodworking industry and it’s great to see local businesses and national exhibitions like W16 work together to help promote the woodworking sector and encourage students and young adults to work in the industry. I wish Liam and the other finalists the very best of luck.”
The W Challenge is taking place alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, at the NEC Birmingham from the 2-5 October.