Woodworking student and Harrogate resident, Peter Valentine, 22, has reached the final of W16’s very first W Challenge.

Currently completing his Level 3 apprenticeship training with Wetherby-based Christopher Philips Handmade Interiors, Peter will be competing against three finalists to win the coveted prize at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd-5th October.

Set up to find talented woodworking apprentices and to highlight the importance of education in the woodworking sector, Peter won a place in the final after showing impressive skill during his regional heats. Peter says, “Taking part in the W Challenge was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss. In the regional heats, I was asked to showcase a range of difficult techniques and skills I’d been taught during my apprenticeship training. It wasn’t easy but I always strive to do my best. It was a close call and the competition was high but I’m over the moon to make up the final four.”

The final will see the finalists create a unique piece of furniture over a four-day period that fits a technical brief set by an independent judging panel. Peter explains, “It’s going to be a challenge but I’m going to use the skills I’ve mastered to show the judges exactly what I can do.”

Christopher Philips, founder of Christopher Philips Handmade Interiors, adds, “Everyone is so proud of Peter. The team has invested a lot of their time training him and this proves how worthwhile it’s been. We wish him the very best in the final.”

Registration for W16 and its co-located furniture and joinery show, Elements, has now opened. To book your free ticket please visit www.wexhibition.co.uk or follow @W_Exhibition and @Elements_Expo on Twitter for the latest news.