College student wins regional carpentry competition
Tuesday, 7 July, 2015

Reece Haskew of Solihull College has achieved first place in this year’s Institute of Carpentry competition for the Midlands region.

Reece, originally from the South of England, moved to the Midlands in hope of new career prospects and to gain more qualifications. Reece met with staff at Solihull College Woodlands Campus to enquire about the carpentry qualifications and decided that the College was the right choice for him. Reece had looked at other Colleges in the region but decided to travel slightly further to Solihull College because he thought the facilities were fantastic.

Reece had been working as a painter and decorator working alongside carpenters which meant he had picked up skills and knowledge along the way. Due to Reece’s existing skills he was able to progress immediately on to the Level 2 Bench Joinery course.

Reece progressed quickly through the course and explained “I was dedicated to the course and because I previously lived in the South of England, I didn’t have any distractions here, nothing else took up my time which meant I could be 100% focused and I knew that carpentry is exactly what I wanted to do as a career.”

Reece worked extremely hard throughout the course, impressing tutors at Solihull College and completing his course early gaining a distinction mark.

Arron Ward, Construction tutor at Solihull College, organises competitions for the construction trades for students to compete. Reece was entered into the Institute of Carpentry competition where he had to compete with other students in the region in the over 20s category. The winner of the competition would receive a cash prize and would also be entered into the national final. Reece was determined to succeed in the competition and after he had received his drawings he dedicated his time to ensuring he did what was necessary to win the competition.

Reece’s task was to create a kitchen unit front with a cupboard door and false drawer. Despite the work being advanced level 3 work, Reece did not let this deter him as he would strive to ensure the piece was perfect.

“It was tricky and quite tough at times but I knew that to get to the nationals it has to be 100% right, not even 1mm out.”

If Reece was not satisfied with the work he had completed he would start again to ensure that there could be no faults picked with the end product. The facilities and materials on offer at Solihull College allowed Reece to do this with ease. Reece’s tutor, Arron Ward commented “Reece showed outstanding hand and power tool skills in the competition and he has shown how dedicated he is throughout his course at Solihull College. His piece was to a very high standard and has been sent to The Institute of Carpenters in London to compete at a national level.”

Upon receiving the news that he had finished first in the regional competition for his category and will be competing at a national level, Reece said “I feel great – hard work definitely pays off. It will be a great thing to be able to put on my CV as not many people can say they have gained 1st place in a regional competition. I had great support from my tutors and I don’t feel like I would have completed the course without Arron’s help; he is an outstanding lecturer.”

Reece will now be hoping to impress at the national competition and in September is looking to move on to the Level 3 course. As Reece completed his course early he was able to find employment working in the exhibition stand industry and the company will be supporting Reece with his studies at Solihull College.

100% of students who enrolled last September, like Reece, for the Bench Joinery course passed and now have their Level 2 qualification, which is another great success.

Students Jon Smith and Alex Fear who study Level 1 Carpentry and Joinery also took part in the competition for the under 20s category and are eagerly awaiting the results.

Solihull College has now secured 3 wins in the last 3 years with students taking part in the competition and will be looking to expand upon these successes with students taking part in many more competitions.

For more information on the courses such as Bench Joinery at Solihull College please click here or call 0121 678 7000.

Reece Haskew