A talented apprentice from Mulbarton has made it through to the semi-final of a competition which could see him crowned the best young carpenter in the world.

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Ben Cooke, 20, competed in tough three-day selection event in August and will battle for a place in an international skills competition.

If selected, he will then carry on training intensively with Team UK before heading to WorldSkills Leipzig, which takes place from July 2–7.

Mr Cooke, who lives in St Omer Close with his girlfriend, will now spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world.

The former Hethersett High School pupils has worked for RG Carter since he left school when he was 16.

He said: “A year before I left school I started sending out letters and I applied for a job with Carters.

“It’s brilliant to have got this far – it shows how quickly I have picked up the trade. It shows that apprenticeships do work. I know the next year will be tough as I will be in training but I really hope the whole of the country gets behind squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 like they have done with our Olympic teams.”

Mr Cooke praised his college, the Carter Academy, and his trainer, Andy Evans.

Jaine Bolton, director at the National Apprenticeship Service and UK official delegate to WorldSkills International said: “By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and apprenticeships.

“This provides the inspiration for young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.”

Do you have a story about a talented apprentice? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772439.

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