Nottingham College apprentice, Jason Wong, brought home a silver medal on the 23rd November after impressing judges with his woodwork skills at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions.
WorldSkills UK LIVE took place 21–23 November at the NEC Birmingham and is the country’s largest experiential skills, apprenticeships and careers event. Jason battled it out against other trainee carpenters from all over the UK in front of over 80,000 visitors.
Jason was tasked with building a hexagonal garden bench, involving intricate and complex angles and measurements. At the end of the allotted time, competitors brought together their final work to form a collaborative structure with six pieces all slotting together to make a huge wooden garden gazebo.
He said: “It was daunting when I first arrived at the NEC and saw the task we’d been given, but all the time and training sessions I’d put in with my College mentor, Dean, leading up to the competition, soon kicked in and the nerves started to fade.
“The standard was very high so I wasn’t expecting to win. When I looked up at the big screen during the medal ceremony and saw my name against silver it was the best feeling!”
Jason, who is 28, from Derby, is coming to the end of his Carpentry Apprenticeship, where he trains at the College’s Basford campus alongside his carpentry job at Fitted Solutions Ltd.
I complete my Apprenticeship this month, so achieving silver at WorldSkills is like the cherry on top. The College and my employer have supported me so much, so I’m really pleased that I’ve made them both proud, and I can finish my Apprenticeship on a high.- Jason Wong
Lecturer, Dean Howitt, said: “I saw talent in Jason right from the start. He’s worked hard and really cares about what he does, which shines through. He has come on leaps and bounds from last year and the quality of his work has come on so much. I’ll always be here for Jason as his mentor but I have absolutely no doubt that, whatever he goes on to do in the future, he will excel at.”
WorldSkills UK Competitions are run in over 60 skill areas and are proven to help people go further, faster in their training and chosen career. The WorldSkills UK Competition in carpentry is run in partnership with SkillBuild / CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).
Alongside Jason’s job at Fitted Solutions, he also makes his own bespoke furniture. Check out his Instagram page here: @jay_w_carpentry.