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25th Jun, 2022

Shipston carpenter saws his way to first prize

A CARPENTER from Shipston has sawed his way to the top by claiming first prize in a competition.

Eighteen-year-old George Clarke, who studies at Moreton Morrell College, came first in the Site Carpentry category in the SkillBuild Challenge for the Midlands region.

He competed in a category against 15 other carpenters and was tasked on the day with drawing, cutting, fixing and assembly of a complex roof.

The second-year student, who is also an apprentice at his dad’s company, Steve Clarke Carpentry and Construction, will now go on to compete at a national level, representing Moreton Morrell College and the Midlands in the national WorldSkills UK competiton.

He told the Observer: “I really enjoyed the day. It was something a bit different and it was fun working under pressure with the time schedule. While I didn’t think I was going to win at the start, during the process I knew it was going quite well and thought I might have had a chance.

“I’ve always enjoyed being handy, helping out my dad and supporting his business. It seemed like the natural progression after school to take up an apprenticeship with his business. My tutor John introduced me to the competition and I decided to take it on. We did a few practicing sessions at college and then headed on to Moulton College for the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to the next stage now and I’m waiting for that information to come through from WorldSkills.

College group WCG, which includes Moreton Morrell College, entered a team of seven in to the challenge and also saw Wade Montgomery come fourth in the Site Carpentry category.

John Billings, carpentry tutor at WCG, said: “We are extremely proud of the construction team that represented WCG. The standard of work achieved was by far the highest I have seen at a WorldSkills competition and all of our learners did themselves proud.”

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