Double triumph for local apprentice joiner

A DEESIDE apprentice joiner was awarded the runner up prize in a national competition last month.

Ian Gordon was entered into the competition by his boss Gordon Coutts, and was awarded a trophy and a cheque for 100. Mr Coutts, of Tarland based Gordon Coutts Ltd., wrote a letter telling the judges why Mr gordon was such a worthy apprentice.

Apprentices from all the trades in Scotland can enter the James Birnie award, which is organised by the Scottish Building Apprenticeship And Training Council (SBATC). To enter the competition a letter must be written to SBATC by the apprentice's manager or college.

Mr Gordon, from Lumphanan said: “I was surprised to get so far. The interview was quite informal, but it was very nerve-racking. Three members of SBACT interviewed me and asked me questions about what I thought I was good at and what I thought I was bad at.”

The 35 entries were whittled down in the first stage of the competition by judging the letters. 12 people were selected from the written entries and were invited to Carrongrange in Stenhousemuir for a 20 minute interview.

Mr Gordon found out he had reached the top four in the competition a few days later. However, he did not find his final placing until the ceremony, which was held in the town house in Aberdeen on November 4.

Shortly after learning about his success Mr Gordon discovered he had won another competition. The William Daniel award, which is run by Wrights And Coopers, can be entered by students at Aberdeen College.

Nine students from the advanced joinery class entered the competition, which involved making an item of household furniture. The students had to complete the work in their spare time.

Mr Gordon took nine months to make an ottoman box, and was presented with first prize at the Trinity Hall in Aberdeen on November 25.

He is currently in his fourth year of apprenticeship, which will finish next year in August. 19-year-old Mr Gordon had worked for the Tarland based company since leaving school. He was given the job after a successful period of work experience, which was organised through Aboyne Academy.