BWF Awards shortlist 2016: Case study Jotham Williams (Barr Joinery)

29 September 2016

Shortlist: BWF Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by CITB

Name of Apprentice: Jotham Williams

BWF Member Firm: Barr Joinery

Type of work/product(s) produced: External and Internal Joinery


• Quality of workmanship - Jotham has a true ‘joiners eye’; his graphic design “hobby” really helps him to interpret technical drawings and his drive for perfection means that every millimetre counts.

• Commitment:  Jotham works until the job is done - this is representative of Jotham’s attitude to everything he does.

• Adding value: Jotham adds emotional value to the day of every person he comes into contact with - nothing is too much trouble - especially not a smile!

• Personal development: Jotham shows excellence in workmanship, dedication, attitude and enthusiasm.

Barr Joinery would like to nominate Jotham Williams, for the BWF apprentice of the year award.  Jotham has worked with the Team for 10 months and attends Aylesbury College.  Jotham’s attitude, positivity and enthusiasm impact our teams, our customers and our suppliers each and every day.

Jotham left school at 17 with very little idea of what he wanted to do.  A marketing desk job with CPM brought in a salary but did not fulfil his practical and creative aspirations and he left to travel, working on his way.  His travels took him to New Zealand, where every job seemed to have an element of woodworking.  Pallet beds for trailers on a tomato farm, fences for sheep farms, support stalks for banana trees and fit outs for timber-framed sheds and out buildings.  Even a tree surgery job, which taught him about timber species and origin.   Jotham arrived home knowing that his calling was to work creatively with wood; his ambition is to eventually run his own woodworking business.  He recognised that he had to learn his trade from the basics up and applied for his apprenticeship with Barr Joinery.  

Nearly a year into his apprenticeship and Jotham has given so much to the company already. His energy, enthusiasm and love for his work is contagious - he cannot help but lift spirits in the workshop and throughout extended Barr Group Companies.  It is through Jotham’s exceptional attitude and dedication that he produces exceptional work.

Rather than a statement from one person, please find below a collection of feedback from people who work closely with Jotham at Barr Joinery and the Barr Group companies.

James Knight – Barr Joinery Project Manager and Surveyor: The difference with Jo is that he takes the initiative.  We can confidently send him out to site knowing he is a safe pair of hands.  He is a dedicated worker always happy to put in extra hours to get the job done. He takes real pride in his work.

Kelly Knight – Barr Joinery Office Manager:  Jotham never questions a request - he is always willing to help; emptying the bins and sweeping the workshop as readily as pouring over a new set of plans or planning the execution of a new commission with the team.    

Rachel Knight - Marketing Associate:  Jotham is a fantastic photographer and is passionate about what is going on in the workshop.  I get a constant stream of amazing images and commentary to use on social media.  He shares his work experiences - and in doing so helps us to share best practice.

Tom Ganiec – Barr Joinery workshop manager and Jotham’s internal mentor:  Jotham is extremely focused and committed. He listens well and as a result is a good learner.  This and his positive attitude mean that he is progressing exceptionally well. 

Josh Hudson - Barr Joinery Manager.  Jo is really enthusiastic, keen to learn, never shy of giving it a go and great for team moral.  Where there is client contact on fitting everyone loves him.  Every manager should have a ‘Jotham’ in their team.

Phil Whiteman - CIBT regional coordinator and Jotham’s mentor. I wish I had a few more like Jotham. His college attendance is excellent.  Jotham clearly enjoys what he does and is ready to do what it takes to get the course completed.  I have no doubt that he will be successful.  He is keen to break new ground by taking NVQ levels 2 and 3 in just one year.  We are currently looking into whether this is possible. The only criticism (said with a smile) is that, due to Jotham’s buckets of enthusiasm, a 45-minute review takes 1.5 hours - at which point I am late for my next appointment! 

Jotham’s personal statement:  Working for Barr Joinery has given me opportunities that simply would not have been available elsewhere.  I have had the chance to work on great projects and produce commissions designed but top-flight London designers.  Everyone at Barr Joinery has been helpful and positive.  I look forward to coming to work every day and am always excited about the next commission.  In terms of skills training and attention to detail Barr Joinery are second to none.

The Apprentice of the Year Award celebrates the success of the rising stars of the joinery industry. The award is kindly sponsored by CITB

Here you can view the full shortlist for the award

The award recognises apprentices that have really stood out during their time with a joinery company. 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 apprentice (that is undertaking external training/qualifications, or has done recently) that is employed within a joinery company, and will recognise outstanding achievement, commitment, adding value to the apprentice's company, and personal development.

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