Bristol-based woodworking apprentice, Liam Martin, 19, has reached the final of national woodworking competition, The W Challenge. Currently completing his Level 3 apprenticeship training with furniture joinery, Traditional Woodworks Ltd, the talented student will be competing against three finalists to win the coveted W Challenge title at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd-5th October.   

Liam, who has been working with wood since the age of 11 says, “I’ve always been interested in joinery and I have fond memories of helping my grandad make furniture in his garage. To be a finalist in a national woodworking competition is a great feeling and I’m excited to be given an opportunity to showcase the talents I’ve learnt during my apprenticeship.”

The final, which has been organised by training provider, Didac, will be run alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, and see Liam create a unique piece of furniture over a four-day period. Liam explains, “The brief will be kept top-secret until we arrive at the NEC on Sunday. The short time frame will be pretty challenging but I’m keen to show the judges my technical skills under pressure. It will be a great experience and I’m excited to take part.”

Jon Gibson, managing director of Didac adds, “Didac is committed to promoting the importance of apprenticeships in the woodworking industry and it’s great to see local businesses and national exhibitions like W16 work together to help promote the woodworking sector and encourage students and young adults to work in the industry. I wish Liam and the other finalists the very best of luck.”

The W Challenge is taking place alongside woodworking machinery and materials exhibition, W16, at the NEC Birmingham from the 2nd-5th October. To book your free ticket please visit or follow @W_Exhibition and @Elements_Expo on twitter for the latest news.