Apprentice Jamie Kennard, 18 from Eastleigh, came second in the cabinet making category at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competition, which saw more than 500 competitors battle it out in 70 different disciplines in a bid to be named the best in the country.
Jamie, who is studying a level 2 diploma in wood machining, said: “I’m very happy with my silver medal – it was a bit of a shock, but a good one.
“I put in a lot of work to get here, lots of practice – mainly working on joints to make sure they were up to standard and at the best level.
“The competition was stressful – we had 18 hours and set specifications to build it to, but the time goes by so quickly.
“My ultimate goal is to keep improving and to hopefully get to Shanghai in 2021 – that would be amazing and I’ll be working hard to achieve that!”
Jamie, who has been working as an apprentice at Parkway Interiors since 2017, will now have a chance to follow in the footsteps of world champion cabinet makers – former Chichester College students Edward Harringman and George Callow, who both won gold for the UK at WorldSkills in 2015 and 2013 respectively.
He will have the opportunity to participate in next year’s national skills final – and this time a place in the UK squad will be the main prize as the long road to WorldSkills 2021 begins.
Christian Notley MBE, lecturer at Chichester College and training manager for WorldSkillsUK cabinet making, said: “Jamie did very well in a tough competition.
“To win silver is an outstanding achievement – it takes a lot of focus and determination and it means they are among the best in the country at what they do.
“I have high hopes for Jamie, and look forward to seeing him compete in future competitions.”
Jamie’s success has been mirrored by Crawley College student Kieran Barnes, who was awarded a silver medal for joinery – making it a successful weekend in Birmingham for the Chichester College Group.