Chichester College duo take top spots at national competition

November 24, 2016

Two Chichester College cabinet-makers have won gold and silver at the national skills competition finals.

Chris Clarke, 18 from the Falkland Islands, and Tom Pennicott, 18 from Bosham, took the top places in the cabinet making category of the competition, which was held at the recent Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham.

They were tasked with building bedside tables in oak to a specific design and saw off competition from some of the country’s best young cabinet makers to finish first and second.

Chris, who claimed gold, said: “I’m very happy, shocked and surprised. I wasn’t expecting to get a medal, let alone gold!

“It was a lot of work, really challenging but I enjoyed it and I definitely learnt a lot!”

Chris and Tom now have a chance to follow in the footsteps of world champion cabinet makers – former Chichester College students Edward Harringman and George Callow, who both won gold for the UK at WorldSkills in 2015 and 2013 respectively.

They will be invited back to participate in next year’s skills final – and this time a place in the UK squad will be the main prize as the long road to WorldSkills 2019 begins.

Christian Notley MBE, lecturer at Chichester College and training manager for WorldSkillsUK cabinet making, said: “Both Chris and Tom did very well in what was a tough competition.

“They had 19 hours, over three days, to build their units while also dealing with thousands of schoolchildren pouring through the Skills Show and watching them.

“So to be able to cope with that distraction while crafting their cabinets to a gold and silver standard is a fantastic achievement. It takes a lot of focus and determination.”

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Principal at Chichester College, added: “I am very proud of Chris and Tom.

“We have a fantastic pedigree of cabinet makers here at Chichester College, and I’m extremely pleased to see there are no signs of that slowing down!

“Congratulations to them both.”