By SERC Glass
A young man with a passion for joinery and hand-crafted furniture, is set to pit his skills against his peers from across the UK at the WorldSkillsUK National Competition in Edinburgh, 14 – 18 November.
David Fairley (23), from Dromore, who completed his A Levels at Friends School in Lisburn, didn’t quite fancy going to university. Following a gap year which involved working and travelling in Australia, he returned to Northern Ireland having decided that the hands-on, earn whilst you learn apprenticeship route offered the best pathway to match his ambitions. He is currently completing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery at SERC’s Lisburn Campus and is employed by Heaney Interiors in Ballynahinch.
Recognised as the ‘Olympics for Skills’, David secured his spot in the WorldSkillsUK National Finals following success in the Regionals this year. No stranger to success, David also secured first place at SERC’s annual Intercampus joinery competition and won Student of the Year for Carpentry and Joinery at the College’s annual Excellence Awards.
David said, “I am looking forward to the competition. The timing is always a challenge and for me it will be a case of making sure I don’t rush, but use the time allocated to show my knowledge, skills and abilities to my best advantage.”
He added, “It will be nice to see Edinburgh again, and I am looking forward to representing both Heaney Interiors and the College. I have had great support from my employer who has allowed me the time off to take part in the competition and have been mentored by Julian Wilson, Joinery Lecturer at SERC.”
Speaking about the apprenticeship route he said, “One of the best things about the apprenticeship is that you are learning all the time, once you are skilled at one thing, you move on to something new, so you are building on your skills, and you soon have responsibility for doing your own work. At Heaney’s we are involved in domestic and commercial fit outs as well as joinery and manufacturing kitchens.”
“I also have my own workshop at home, where I can perfect my skills making doors, planters, and bespoke commissions including a range of tables and furniture. I especially like working with oak which is easy to work with and gives a good finish.”
Speaking about his apprenticeship and long-term plans, he said, “Eventually, I’d like to become self-employed. This means I would be able to do the bread-and-butter jobs but also have time to focus on the bespoke projects that interested me as well.”
He concluded, “Having the apprenticeship joinery qualification is the first step in helping me realise my ambitions. I’d highly recommend my course and the apprenticeship route to others.”
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Apprentice Route Leads to WorldSkillsUK Finals for David was published on FE News by SERC Glass
Source: FE News