Crawley apprentice picks up prestigious silver medal

Kieran Barnes wearing his silver medal and holding his final project
Kieran Barnes wearing his silver medal and holding his final project

Crawley College apprentice Kieran Barnes has won a silver medal in joinery at the SkillBuild UK National Final, which was held at Birmingham’s NEC over the weekend of November 15-17.

The three-day event saw around 500 competitors battle it out in their chosen trade with skills such as bricklaying, stonemasonry and plastering all being put to the test.

Kieran Barnes, Level 3 joinery student at Crawley College, triumphed in the Regional Qualifiers earlier this year and secured 1st place in senior joinery.

But his success did not end there, Kieran impressed judges once again and claimed the silver medal title in the UK National Finals.

Kieran returned to Crawley College on Friday (November 23) to show off his silver medal and final project.

Kieran said: “I am really pleased with my silver medal, I didn’t expect to get this result!

“The competition was stressful at times. I had to complete tasks I had never done before with examiners and the public keeping a close eye on me.

“To prepare myself for the competition I attended additional evening classes at Crawley College and received constant support from my tutors Tony Manktelow, Trevor Francis and Jeremy Ridley.

“When I was closer to finishing the task it was much more enjoyable and if I get the chance I would do another competition like this again.”

Kieran has worked as an apprentice at Wood & Wisdom for two years.

His manager Adam King said: “Kieran has been extremely enthusiastic from the very start, I can’t fault his commitment to the craft and his observation to detail has led him to become an important member of the company.

“I hope that Kieran will continue his studies and further his skillsets in carpentry in general and joinery in particular.”

Chichester College student Jamie Kennard was also awarded a silver medal in Cabinet Making.