UK apprentice takes on the Americas17 April 2014
An apprentice at GS Haydon & Son and the 2012 British Woodworking Federation Apprentice of the Year was the sole UK representative at the WorldSkills Americas in Columbia this month.
Chris Lake, aged 19, was chosen to be a guest competitor at the event, which is for countries in North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. It was the first time a contender from outside the member countries had been allowed to take part.
Mr Lake's name was put forward by his training provider, Didac, which had been approached by Proskills and the British Council in Columbia.
He competed in the cabinetmaking category where the challenge was to create a cabinet using the materials provided. The design included a dovetailed drawer, a small door and a base.
The competitors, who were judged on interpretation of drawings, working practices, preparation of surfaces and jointing and assembly, had 22 hours over three days to complete the work.
For Mr Lake, whose speciality is windows and doors, making furniture, and dovetailing, was something new.
"I had a week's notice so I practised dovetailing every day after work," he said.
He described the experience as "brilliant" and it has whet his appetite to learn more.