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Top prize for Chichester College apprentice at national competition

17 May 2023

Architectural Joinery Apprentice, Oliver Watt, struck gold at the recent national Joiners & Ceilers Craft Competition.

Level 2 Architectural Joinery Apprentice Oliver travelled to Stratford last month to compete in this year’s Worshipful Company of Joiners & Ceilers Craft Competition. 

Alongside nine other competitors, Oliver spent the entire day crafting a tool trug in a bid to impress judges and lead him to win the ultimate prize of £1000 and an invitation to a prestigious awards night later this year. 

Oliver, who is soon to finish his two-year apprenticeship with Chichester College and Cooper Joinery & CNC Services Ltd, was thrilled to discover that he had won and, on top of his prize, his colleagues at Cooper Joinery decided to gift him with something special in addition. 

Oliver said: “Before going to the competition my boss Phil asked what I would do with my winnings if I won, and I told him that I would like to buy the Leis Nielsen No. 4 Smooth Plane which is like the Rolls Royce of carpentry tools. 

“If winning the competition and the prize money didn’t surprise me enough, my colleagues surprising me with this £400 tool at work definitely did! 

“I am so grateful for my team at Cooper Joinery but also Chichester College and, in particular, Rich for pushing me forward for such an exciting opportunity.” 

Each year students from across the nation can enter the competition so long as they fit the criteria of having recently completed, or are about to complete, a two-year full-time training course, or training recognised as of similar standards. 

Richard Huntsman, lecturer in carpentry & joinery at Chichester College, said: “What a huge achievement for Oli and I expected nothing less. 

“Throughout his time at the college, Oli, has proceeding to develop and succeed through every part of his course and winning this competition is just the start of his carpentry career. 

“We are so very proud of you Oli and although we will be sad to see you leave in a few months, we wish you all the best with the team at Cooper Joinery.” 

For more on apprenticeships at Chichester College, visit: 

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