College duo selected to train as part of UK WorldSkills Squad

Written by Eleanor on 8th January 2020

Two Chichester College Group students have been named in WorldSkills UK’s official squad – taking them a step closer to competing against the best skilled young people in the world.

Finlay Champion and Jamie Kennard will join the cabinet making team with the aim of representing Team UK at WorldSkills Shanghai in 2021.

They are among 137 young people to have been selected for the squad, having both picking up silver medals in the national skills finals – Finlay in November 2019 and Jamie at the 2018 competition.

They will be aiming to continue the college’s pedigree in cabinet making on the world stage – following in the footsteps of former Chichester College students - Edward Harringman and George Callow, who both won gold for the UK at WorldSkills in 2015 and 2013 respectively.

Finlay – who is also employed by the college as an apprentice – said: “I’m really happy to have been selected as one of three cabinet makers to train for the next WorldSkills competition.

“That’s been my goal – it was great to win silver at nationals in November, but I really wanted a place in the squad.

“I know it’s going to be hard work. Jamie and I have got a long way to go, but we’ll be supporting each other and focusing on doing the best we can.”

Finlay and Jamie, who study at Brinsbury College (part of the Chichester College Group), will now undertake an intensive 18-month training and selection process. They will be guided by Christian Notley MBE, who is the UK Training Manager for cabinet making – and is also deputy head of learning for furniture at Chichester College.

He said: “It is fantastic to see the college continuing to demonstrate our excellence in cabinet making on a national stage, and to have two more of our students competing to represent their country in the biggest international skills competition is outstanding.

“Over the next 18 months they will have to focus and work really hard if they want to earn a place in Shanghai. It won’t be easy – they will be put through their paces in intensive workshops and will have to perform to the best of their ability.

“Both of them are very talented and I’m confident they will rise to the occasion. Ultimately, we will be looking to take the very best cabinet maker to China next year and it is up to them to demonstrate why they should be selected.”

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, added: “I know I speak for everyone when I say how proud we are of Jamie and Finlay.

“They have proved they are among the best in Britain, and now they will be competing for the opportunity to among the best in the world. 

“We have a fantastic history at WorldSkills in cabinet making with four of our students representing the UK in the past five competitions – claiming two gold medals to top it off.

“It is great to see that pedigree continuing to shine through. I wish them both the best of luck.”