Once again, three students in their third year of carpentry & joinery studies at college were recognised for their skill and commitment by The Institute of Carpenters (IOC). Apprentice site carpenter Spencer Pettit of West Suffolk College was the overall winner of the 3rd Year Student Award 2021. In recognition of the award he received a set of tools donated by Axminster Tools. Furthermore, Jacob Cockeram, apprentice bench joiner at York College and Jak Watson, apprentice bench joiner at The Building Crafts College London received highly commended for their entires and an Axminster Tools voucher.

Meet the judges

The Judges for this year’s competition were IOC President Geoff Rhodes, IOC board member Martin Corton of Rainleaf and  UK Construction YouTube star, Fix Radio carpentry presenter and IOC Fellow, Robin Clevett.  

 “One of the driving forces behind our work at the IOC currently is recognising the acute shortage of qualified carpenters and joiners across the UK. We launched this 3rd Year IOC Student Award scheme across our 35 IOC member Colleges two years ago to help inspire, improve and address the nation’s woodworking skills deficit. We aim to provide support and encouragement to all those embarking on their training in these fields. As well as celebrating the achievements of specific students who demonstrate the commitment and skills the industry so needs.” - Geoff Rhodes, IOC President

Inspiring new talent

Commenting on Spencer Pettit’s win, Brian Tunbridge, a lecturer in Carpentry & Joinery at West Suffolk College, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for Spencer to win this nationally recognised student award. It is the culmination of three years of hard work and dedication in which he has had to show a great deal of perseverance and resilience. Naturally, we are very proud of him. On seeing this news, I believe  current and future students at West Suffolk College can only be inspired to work hard and achieve their career dreams, just like Spencer."

Building a sustainable future

Spencer impressed the judges with his wide ranging skillset and also his commitment to the future of the industry, he said:

“I am excited for the future of construction as an industry. I can see a move towards a more sustainable, forward-thinking and empathetic environment. Personally, I cannot wait to merge my passion for the traditional carpentry techniques and materials,  with innovative ideas and designs that will have a positive impact on the environment for the future." - Spencer Pettit 

Axminster Tools are passionate about helping to build a sustainable future for the woodworking industries. Like the IOC, we recognise the skills shortage of traditional crafts across the UK and want to do our bit to help.

"We're proud to be in the fortunate position to do what we can for the makers of the future. By supporting them with the first steps to a successful career in woodworking, we hope that valuable skills will live on through generations to come.” - Darran McLeod, Sales Director Axminster Tools.

Student Award 2021 | presentation

If you would like to watch the presentation of the 3rd Year Student Award 2021, the recording is available on the IoC website.