W16 Competition

 Liam Martin wins W challenge

Bristol-based woodworking apprentice, Liam Martin, 19, has been crowned the winner of W16’s very first woodworking and joinery competition, the W Challenge. Run by training provider, Didac, the talented finalist was given four-days to follow a strict brief that would see him and three further students put their skills to the test to create a curved door panel. The brief, which was kept under wraps until the first day of the competition, was designed to challenge the students and get them to use a wide range of skills that they had learnt during their apprenticeship training.

The judging process, which was headed by BWF’s Dave Campbell and Didac Supervisors, Paul Stevenson and Shane Stenning, looked at the whole manufacturing process and assessed the students throughout the competition. Shane explains, “Whilst the students understanding of the brief was a crucial factor, they were also marked on their house keeping skills. Safety, time management, conservation of timber and planning were all essential and marked accordingly.

Each finalist had to show their efficiency in the work place and meet the brief in its entirety. It was a big ask but after seeing them in the heat stages, we knew they were more than capable.”

Shane adds, “The camaraderie between the finalists was brilliant and the skill set was very high   but Liam maintained a high level of accuracy throughout the competition. He was very proactive and had a clear plan from start to finish. We couldn’t fault his work and I wouldn’t think twice about employing him. Liam has a very bright future ahead of him.” On winning the competition, Liam adds, “Curved work is always a challenge and you have to be painstakingly accurate. If you don’t follow the measurements to the millimetre, your design won’t work. The brief wasn’t easy but I concentrated on the job in hand and I’m so pleased I won. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.”

Liam’s prize was £500 worth of Felder vouchers and each finalist was given a personalised plaque to mark the occasion.