George Callow, an apprentice cabinetmaker from Chichester College, has won gold for Team UK at WorldSkills in Leipzig, Germany – a showcase of shining examples from vocational education and training programmes across the world. George was also named Best of Nation among the 33 apprentices who were part of Team UK.
George, who works as a junior cabinet maker for Hampshire-based furniture manufacturer Cimitree, was head-hunted by his employers after the company saw his work at his college’s end of year furniture show.
Christian Notley, head of furniture studies at Chichester College, says: “George could not have achieved his gold medal without following an apprenticeship, as the combination of training at Chichester College and working Cimitree provided him with the best possible training. Knowledge, skill and speed are all required to become the best in the world, good apprenticeships can offer this.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “British ambition and ingenuity has once again taken on and beaten the best in the world and I extend my congratulations to Team UK. As we compete in the global race, this Government is on the side of ambitious young people who want to work hard and get on and we will continue in our efforts to build the biggest and best apprenticeship programme.”
Jonathan Ledger, MD of the Proskills UK Group, adds: “George’s outstanding effort in becoming part of the WorldSkills UK Team, going on to win gold and become Best of Nation in Leipzig, just goes to show that when both an employer and training provider invest time and energy in delivering world-class skills through a much valued apprenticeship framework, young people excel in their chosen craft.
"I am confident that this will provide a long-lasting legacy, encouraging more young people to aim at being the best, whichever take up. We very much look forward to continuing our work with the furniture industries to ensure that our apprenticeship frameworks remain the catalyst that continues to realise and build upon the aspirations of generations to come and deliver meaningful impact for the furniture businesses concerned.”