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The craft of the carpenter


Polish apprentices are in Germany to learn the precision skills needed for constructing and repairing wooden buildings

The complexity of timber-framed housing, and the tricks of the trade needed for the wooden joints to build them – these are the challenges faced by young Polish trainees at the specialist KOMZET training centre in Wriezen in the Brandenberg region of Germany. Like the travelling guild apprentices of old, these young carpenters are living and learning some hundreds of kilometres from their homes in Poland.

The KOMZET training centre specialises in woodworking crafts, and is using ESF support to train some 100 foreign students a year. They then take their new knowledge home to apply centuries-old skills to new jobs.

While in Wriezen on their four-week course, the apprentice carpenters can also get to know the country through weekend trips. “These young people are highly motivated and eager to learn,” says Master Carpenter Mathias Guenther who is responsible for their training.