Furniture making student success at SkillBuild final

David Sparkes a student studying the Level 3 Furniture Design and Manufacture course at Bridgwater College recently won a bronze medal in the Cabinet Making National Final which was held at the National SkillBuild Show at the NEC in Birmingham recently.

David Sparkes with his completed cabinet

David formerly of The Blue School in Wells, was set the task of making a wooden cabinet from scratch in just 20 hours from a working drawing that all competitors were asked to follow. The challenge involved preparing the materials, laying veneers, cutting joints by hand, assembling the carcass, cutting the hinges and fitting the door and top. Each process was closely judged with extremely stringent tolerances of just 0.9mm being accepted before points were deducted.

David’s success has secured his spot as one of only four Furniture Makers to join the UK WorldSkills training squad for 2017. As part of this fantastic achievement, David received £100 has been loaned an impressive kit of Festool power tools worth approximately £4,000 to use during his training period. The WorldSkills competition will be held in Abu Dhabi.

On reflection of his accomplishment, David said,

“After missing out on a medal last year I am excited to come home with the bronze.  I'm over the moon to be selected for squad UK; it's an amazing opportunity and I really hope I get to represent my country in Abu Dhabi in 2017.”

Harvey Hemmens, Matt Doe and David Sparkes.

Steve Hopper, Course Leader for Furniture Making at Bridgwater College said,

“David has excellent cabinet making skills and his achievement in the National SkillBuild competition is fantastic. He copes brilliantly with the pressure that is an integral part of timed competitions. It is a wonderful opportunity for him to develop his skills to a world class level now he is part of the four man UK skills Cabinet Making Squad. I believe he has the necessary qualities to represent the UK in the Cabinet Making competition in WorldSkiils in Abu Dhabi 2017.”

Matt Doe and Harvey Hemmens, Electrical Installation students at Bridgwater College, were also selected for a place in the UK WorldSkills squad and will join David in intense training ahead of the final selection process in 2017.