Luke beat other finalists from Kingsway Veterinary Group and catering suppliers Coffee Care to clinch the accolade at an awards ceremony at The Rendezvous Hotel.
The independent team of judges were impressed by Luke’s rapid progress at the firm, which was also a finalist in the Best Manufacturing category of the prestigious local business awards.
Eighteen year old Luke Baldwin joined the team at Hartleys in October 2017. Previously working in the sport and hospitality sector, he responded to an advertisement for a Trainee Cabinet Maker which attracted him because his father is a joiner and Luke had always enjoyed helping him in his spare time.
Hartleys’ production manager, Jack Firth, interviewed Luke and found him personable, enthusiastic and willing to learn, with a really positive attitude.
Luke is being trained in all areas of production at Hartleys, but specifically with a view to taking over the management of the cabinet making area. He has been learning the craftsmanship skills required for assembling robust cabinets including working from cutting lists, beading up doors, applying edging and responsibility for quality control. His role involves operating specialist machinery such as the carcass clamp and drilling machine.
Not limited to working within the factory confines, Luke has also developed customer facing skills when assigned to delivery work, which also encompasses intelligent loading and unloading of the van for safe transit of finished bespoke furniture.
Founder of the firm, Richard Hartley, said: “We’re really thrilled Luke has won the award. It’s well deserved as he has fitted in very well to become a key member of the team at Hartleys, taking everything that’s thrown at him and already working independently in some areas.”