A BRIGHT future is on the horizon for one apprentice.
Toby Schofield, who lives in Bognor Regis, works for The Creative Woodworking Company, based in Bosham and since the 20-year-old started there his budding career has gone from strength to strength.
Toby said: “I first became interested when I studied wood technology at school and really enjoyed it.
“I did work experience in Year 11 and I did it for a joiner and really enjoyed it.
“I then found out that Chichester College ran a furniture and cabinet-making course level one.
“During the summer I then asked Simon (owner of The Creative Woodworking Company) if I could do a week’s work experience and he said yes. I really enjoyed it and he asked if I would like to carry on doing work experience and then he asked me if I wanted to become an apprentice.”
Toby then started a bench joinery apprenticeship and he has since gained his NVQ level two and it has just been confirmed he has gained his level 3.
Toby said: “Working in this sort of environment has been great. I have been given the opportunity to get involved with a lot of the different aspects of the business.
“I get to meet customers, talk through things with them and then we come back to the workshop and start making.
“Because everything is bespoke, nothing we do is ever the same, which makes it interesting.
“I think my favourite thing to work on so far is a staircase we have recently completed. It was a challenge as bits of it were very tricky, but I did feel pleased when it was done.”
Toby’s everyday activities include wood machining, preparing cutting lists and making bespoke items out of wood for customers.
At the moment, he is working on an oak and glass display cabinet for a customer, but he may need to start working on one for himself as he has already scooped a number of awards.
This year he was awarded the Chichester College Student Ambassador Award. This recognised his achievements and that he goes into schools to give talks to students about his experiences of being a joinery apprentice.
In 2013, he gained the Regional intermediate apprentice award at level 2 and second place in the national apprentice awards.
Simon Ward, who owns The Creative Woodworking Company, said: “Toby asked me if he could come and do some work experience. I said yes and then while he was here, it became clear that he had a real enthusiasm for it.
“When he went back to Chichester College, he changed to a bench joinery apprenticeship as that is more relevant to our work.
“Since then he has really gone from strength to strength and that is great to see. Hopefully one day he will have a managerial post here.
“We have a close relationship with Chichester College which has provided excellent support.
“Toby has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Simon has taken on another apprentice, Will Birch, who is also studying at Chichester College.
“Will is also showing a lot of talent. He does some good work and he has a promising future, too.”