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01 Dec 2023

The Furniture Makers’ Company and FIESTA announce new Apprentice and Skills Plus Service

The Furniture Makers’ Company and FIESTA announce new Apprentice and Skills Plus Service

The Furniture Makers’ Company and the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) are partnering on a new free service that will support businesses in the furniture and furnishing industry to close their skills gaps and take on apprentices with ease.

Launching this autumn, the Apprentice and Skills Plus Service will help companies recruit and retain new talent, upskill existing employees and act as a central resource for information advice and guidance on apprenticeships. Natalie Cole has been appointed as skills plus coordinator and will be responsible for the management and development of the service including signposting employers to approved training providers with access to funding.

Natalie Cole, Skills Plus Coordinator, said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to work within the sector in such a meaningful role that aims to get more young people into the industry while supporting employers with the challenges of filling skills gaps in their businesses.” 

Martin James of training provider Didac said: “It’s a great addition to the armoury of the sector to have a dedicated resource making connections between employers and training providers.”

Professional apprenticeships for new members of staff and existing employees are a cost-effective way for your organisation to grow talent, close skills gaps and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Whether you are a bed manufacturer, cabinet maker, kitchen installer or upholsterer there is an apprenticeship to suit your business. Available apprenticeships include:

  • Advanced furniture CNC Technician
  • Advanced upholsterer
  • Bed manufacturer
  • Bespoke furniture maker
  • Fitted furniture design technician
  • Fitted interiors installer
  • Furniture CNC specialist
  • Furniture finisher
  • Furniture manufacturer
  • Furniture restorer
  • Lean manufacturing operative
  • Modern furniture service repairer
  • Modern upholsterer
  • Wood machinist
  • Wood product manufacturing operative

For other areas of the business there are apprenticeships that cover administration, customer services, management, retail, sales, supervisor & team leader, warehousing and many more.

With Government funding available to cover 95 - 100% of training and assessment costs, apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to develop qualified staff, tailored to the needs of your business.  

The Furniture Makers' Company personalised Apprentice & Skills Plus Service can support you through the process of taking on an apprentice and help you to:  

  • Decide if apprenticeships are right for your business
  • Understand the funding and costs involved
  • Connect with training providers offering relevant training
  • Understand off-the-job training hours
  • Match your job roles and skills gaps to apprenticeship standards
  • Find an apprentice through promotional opportunities and guidance
  • Understand the End Point Assessment (EPA) process.

For more information about the new service or to book a meeting with Natalie, email 

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