A Northfield man has come first in a regional competition to recognise the best apprentice carpenters and joiners in the West Midlands. 

Conna O’Toole, 21, has been an apprentice with Stourbridge-based Kendrick Homes, for two years.

Coming first in The Skillbuild Regional Heat Competition 2017 means Conna will now compete at national level later this year.

Conna said: “I am delighted to be working with Kendrick Homes who not only encourage me but give me so much flexibility to continue my studies on a day release basis at college, whilst enabling me to be understudy to the same carpenter and joiner on a daily basis.

“By being able to combine the theory and practical knowledge that I am gaining it is giving me the confidence to enter such competitions as Skillbuild.

“And it is a great feeling to now be able to say I am officially a carpenter and joiner – and the best in the region!”

Earlier this year Conna worked voluntarily on a project to create an outdoor ‘show and tell’ area for Perry Common Primary School, expanding his experience by working in a different environment. The project also gave Conna the opportunity to work at a managerial level, as one of the more experienced apprentices on site.

Wayne Bingham, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Kendrick Homes said that Kendrick Homes train apprentices to their ‘high standards’ while bringing them ‘through the ranks’, through a combination of on site experience and classroom learning at college.

He said: “It’s […] good having an Apprentice on site that knows our standards and someone that we can rely on 100%, such as Conna, and we wish him every success in his continued development as a carpenter and joiner.”

Congratulations, Conna and good luck for the national competition! 


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