The Silentnight Group has confirmed that it will lead on the development of a new Furniture Making Apprenticeship Standard, as part of the Government’s Phase 3 Trailblazers announced by Skills Minister, Nick Boles.

Trailblazers are groups of leading large and small employers within a sector who work together to develop new apprenticeship standards.

This project is supported by 106 employers in the sector, and the group will be chaired by Michael Dingwall, manufacturing manager at Silentnight, who says: “Silentnight believe in apprenticeships and have taken on over 25 apprentices in all different disciplines in the last three years. This supports our ongoing commitment to quality manufacturing here in the UK. By leading this Trailblazer we hope to work with all interested parties in the furniture industry to help better shape the future of our apprentices, by giving them the skills and knowledge we as businesses need.”

Proskills UK Group will support this apprenticeship development with project management using its expertise and experience of industry partnerships to develop relevant occupational standards, qualifications and apprenticeships and appropriate training provision.

Jonathan Ledger, MD of Proskills UK Group, comments: “It is fantastic that Silentnight and so many furniture employers have decided to lead the way in developing this new breed of apprenticeships. Employers are by far the best source of technical expertise and strategic direction needed to design the best apprenticeships for their industry. We look forward to working with all parts of the furniture industry to realise their ambitions through this industry partnership approach.”

Skills Minister Nick Boles adds: “I congratulate Silentnight for the key role it is playing in developing new top-quality apprenticeships. Through the trailblazers initiative, companies like Silentnight, in collaboration with their industry partners, will give people the skills they need to thrive and our businesses need to compete.”