Trainee of the Year Award

The Trainee of the Year Award is one of two awards that celebrates the success of the rising stars of the joinery industry.

This award seeks to celebrate those that have entered through other training routes, including graduates, A-Level students and in-house trainees. They may have achieved some fantastic feats in their work, or show extraordinary commitment that really adds value to a company’s workforce or the production.

Entries are open to any trainee that is undertaking (or has recently undertaken) external training/qualifications, or a structured in-house training programme that is employed within a joinery company, and will recognise outstanding achievement, commitment, adding value to the trainee’s company, and personal development.

The 2017 British Woodworking Federation Awards winners were announced at the BWF Annual Dinner & Awards which took place on Friday 24th November at the fantastic Drapers’ Hall, London. Here you can read about the fantastic winning entries and view photos of the event.

Trainee of the Year AwardThe winner of BWF trainee of the year 2016 was Greg Kasowicz (Gowercroft Limited) (pictured).
Previous Winners of the Award


Trainee of the Year AwardThe Trainee of the Year Award was presented to Dale Hodgins of Beard Evans Joinery Ltd, who impressed the judges with his “strong aptitude for understanding drawings and producing an exemplary standard of work.” Everyone has been impressed by the levels of skill and commitment shown by Dale after just nine months. He has also competed in the World Skills Competition in the national heats and has now travelled the world showing off the high standards of UK joinery.

Here you can find out more about all the 2015 winning entries



Trainee of the Year AwardSamantha, just 18, is now an estimator at Arnold Laver and has just completed her training. She knew straight away at 16 that she wanted to work, starting off at first as a personal trainer and beauty therapist. But through the Life Skills programme, Samantha was introduced to Arnold Lavers and she immediately caught the bug.

She said: “I’ve come on leaps and bounds. I would never have thought there was so much to learn: handings, structurals, acoustics, wall widths, fire ratings, cut outs, finishes, floor plans… a door is not just a piece of wood!  Now I have my own customer base and I love it.”

The BWF judges also commended Samantha for the speed of her development, moving from an office junior to being able to interpret complex technical drawings for work scheduling. She showed clear willingness to learn and go beyond the call of duty, really benefitting her company. As a direct result of their hugely positive experience with Samantha, Arnold Laver has now decided to launch a graduate trainee programme from January 2015.

As her boss at Arnold Laver said at “Samantha is like a sponge; she just soaks it all up. She is quick to understand and always asks good questions. She handles her own workload now, and has grown up so much in the time we have known her. Her technical ability and attention to detail is phenomenal for someone of her age. She makes us very proud.”


Trainee of the Year AwardLuke Parry26-year old Luke Parry, Estimator at Oakwrights Bath Ltd, as a trainee as part of the augmented award to recognise all those undertaking formal training within woodworking companies.

After leaving school, Luke started two courses at Aston University, but found the academic route was not for him.  He went on to complete a Level 3 bench joinery apprenticeship, but was not sure what he wanted to do next.  His college tutor recommended him for an estimating post at Oakwrights Bath Ltd, and Luke applied for the job. This role would give him the intellectual challenge and opportunity to learn that he relishes.

Now in his seventh year of study since starting as an apprentice, Luke is currently working towards an HNC in construction at Swindon College, sponsored by his employer.