Carpenter Linda raises the roof to scoop major apprentice accolade

04 September 2017

Linda Wellard

Apprentice carpenter Linda Wellard has been crowned champion in a showpiece construction industry competition.

Linda, who is based at Bovis Homes' Paragon location in Cambridge, nailed down first place in the Construction Industry Training Board's prestigious 2017 SkillBuild contest.

The annual competition pits thousands of the UK's best construction apprentices against one another in their chosen trade.

Linda proved too strong for the opposition in the regional round of the carpentry section in the 'new entrant' category - for first-year apprentices - held at the College of West Anglia.

She successfully completed the task set by the SkillBuild judges to produce a scaled-down roof within a set time limit through carefully interpreting a series of drawings.

Linda, who lives in Great Abington, near Cambridge, was put forward for SkillBuild after impressing her tutor at the Carter Academy in Norwich.

"Beforehand I hadn't built up my chances of winning at all, so it was a nice surprise when they announced that I had won," explained Linda.

"It was really good fun, but I hadn't thought I was going to win at all until after I'd finished the task and one of my teachers and a teacher from another college told me that other apprentices still hadn't completed theirs.

"Only then did it start to go through my head that I might actually win."

Bovis Homes are very proud of what Linda has accomplished and the work she has put in, whilst at the competition and also on site at Paragon.

Linda, the first member of her family to enter the trade, recalled how her enthusiasm for carpentry was originally sparked by woodwork lessons at primary school.

"I remember really enjoying woodwork as a kid," said the 23-year-old. "I became a member of a woodwork club when I was about 10 because I enjoyed it so much.

"I'm enjoying work on site for Bovis Homes - this is my first year with the company -and the college work seems to be going well.

"I've been told by the college that if I get everything finished on my NVQ by October, I can start my Level 3 this year, one year ahead of schedule.

"I'm not sure what I want to do after I finish my apprenticeship. Maybe I'll do carpentry for a bit longer, but I am tempted to train to go into site management."