The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) has announced that the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) has approved five new Level 3 apprenticeship standards for the furnishing industry.

The standards, which were approved in December 2018, are Bespoke Furniture Maker, Advanced Furniture CNC Technician, Advanced Upholsterer, Fitted Furniture Design Technician and New Furniture Product Developer.

The development of the standards was co-funded by the BFM and The Furniture Makers’ Company, and follow the launch of the Level 2 apprenticeship standards in 2016. Both sets of standards have been written with the industry under the Government’s Trailblazer initiative.

FIESTA hopes that the new apprenticeship standards will be available for use by May 2019 once End Point Assessment plans have been developed.

Gary Baker, FIESTA chairman, says: “We are very pleased that the IFA has approved these new standards, which were identified by the furnishing industry Trailblazer group as the apprenticeships in highest demand. After the successful introduction of the Level 2 standards, we’re excited by the prospect of training a host of new apprentices at the Level 3 standard.”

FIESTA is now calling for industry to take part in a survey to ascertain demand for higher apprenticeships. The survey will close on 28th February.

Gary adds: “It’s important for industry to realise that we can only develop standards when we have established demand from employers. If there is a higher apprenticeship standard required, it is essential that industry lets us know by completing the survey.”