DIY SOS star opens Chesterfield College construction workshops

East block one opening

Celebrity carpenter Mark Millar from DIY SOS and Chesterfield College’s Worldskills UK gold medal winning apprentice, Jack Chambers helped to celebrate the opening of the new construction workshops on Infirmary Road today by giving expert advice on how to carve a career in construction as well as judging ‘We Built That’, a competition for Year 8 & 9 school pupils from across Derbyshire.

School teams were given a brief to build the best rocket before spending the day working in the joinery, plumbing and painting and decorating workshops of the new construction workshops under the watchful eye of Chesterfield College students and tutors.

Mark Millar giving expert advice to We built that competitors
Chapel-en-le-Frith school were crowned the winners of the competition which finished with a rocket launch, prize giving ceremony and the official opening of the new building by Mark Millar, Jack Chambers and the Chair of the college corporation Frank Smith. 

Mark Millar said:

“Well done to everyone who has taken part. It is a fantastic honour to be part of the opening of the new workshops and to be able to spend time with the next generation of construction experts. I can see already that the college is training people with the ability to shine. Who knows they might be the construction stars of the future.

“When I started my career as a carpentry apprentice, learning at work and in a college, I never thought that I would be doing what I do. Not many carpenters end up on TV, but it is amazing where construction skills can lead to. It‘s fantastic to see young people being inspired and learning important construction skills in modern facilities like this because I know skilled employees are in demand.”

The new building was part funded by the Skills Funding Agency and houses several workshops and classrooms designed to give students the skills they need to succeed in a range of construction disciplines from plumbing and joinery to painting and decorating. The building provides internal and external space for students to gain practical experience in areas that replicate real construction sites.  

Joinery apprentice, 18 year old, Jack Chambers is one of the students benefitting from the facilities at Chesterfield College. He recently beat the best of the best to bring home the gold medal in joinery from the Worldskills UK competition. He says that mixing college study and his apprenticeship at Pennine Woodworking in Bradwell gave him the skills he needed to succeed and could help him compete internationally in Abu Dhabi in 2017. 

Jack spent some time explaining to the school teams where apprenticeships and studying at college can lead to. He said: “When I left school I knew I would end up doing a hands-on job but I had no idea that learning a trade through studying at college and doing an apprenticeship would give me the chance to compete at an international level. It has given me a brilliant opportunity to prove what I can do and it has helped me to be better at the job I do every day too. ”