From education to employment

Apprentice joiner impresses at national skills competition

First year Carpentry and Joinery apprentice, Jack Scott (from Hawick), recently stood out from the crowd by coming second place in the Scottish Association of Timber Trade Teachers (SATTTs) annual competition, hosted in Lerwick by Shetland College UHI.

The Borders College student made the lengthy journey to Shetland with Lecturer Colin Waddell, who went along to support his student at the national competition where he would be competing against 13 other apprentices from across Scotland, some in their fourth year.  Jack’s task was to make a post with brace and frame – quite a challenge in the set timeframe of 6 hours.

Jack, whose Brother is currently a fourth year Carpentry and Joinery apprentice, can also count his Grandfather and Uncle’s careers as Joiners as his inspiration for taking up the trade.  Jack also completed his full-time National Progression Award and subsequent City & Guilds qualification at Borders College prior to beginning his employed apprenticeship.

Speaking of the SATTTs competition, Jack said:

“As I knew what the challenge was going to be, I was able to practice making the brace and frame at College over a couple of weeks, with a timed practice on the Wednesday before the competition.”

Jack’s employer, James Swinton & Co Ltd, allowed him to spend some extra, paid, days at College in order to practice for the competition, and also to travel to Shetland.

The entrants’ work was judged by Lecturers from Shetland College, as well as from the previous and upcoming hosting Colleges, with the winners announced by the Principal of Shetland College.  Jack was presented with a Dewalt combi drill and impact driver set by a member of the Shetland College Board of Management as well as Gordon Berry of SATTTs, before the event culminated in a buffet lunch and networking opportunity where the competitors had the chance to talk about their training and experiences in the trade.

Lecturer Colin Waddell, said:

“Coming second to the winner, who was a fourth year apprentice, is a great achievement for Jack as a first year apprentice.  Feedback from the judges was that there were only a few points between the first and second place competitors.”

Colin thanked Borders College for giving Jack the opportunity to attend and participate in the competition, also praising Shetland College for their hospitality (particularly Senior Lecturer in construction, Anthony Mcleod, who showed them around the island following the competition) adding, “if it was not for these guys this competition would not have happened and for this we are grateful.”

Pictured: Colin Waddell and Jack Scott

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