29 May 2024, 15:30
By Furniture News Aug 14, 2014

Furniture Makers’ industry experience pilot course successful

As the furnishing industry’s charity, the mission of The Furniture Makers’ Company is to provide leadership to the industry and a framework of support with which to inspire excellence, educate for the future and support those in need.

As part of its expanding education programme, this summer the company has completed a pilot course to give four of the brightest young talents in the furnishing industry an intensive three-week experience where they had an unrivalled opportunity to learn about all aspects of the furnishing industry supply chain.

Over the three weeks the group covered components and raw materials, the complexity of manufacturing, testing, buying criteria, pricing, marketing, merchandising, customer service, consumer law and after sales.

Seventeen companies all over the UK hosted tours, presentations and seminars for the group, including: corporate members Axminster Tools & Machinery, Blum, CDUK, DFS, John Lewis Partnership, KI and M&S; and supporters Burbidge, Cabinet Maker, Crofts & Assinder, Ercol, FIRA, The Furniture Ombudsman, Halstock, Hypnos, Panaz and UBM.

The four young professionals were nominated by their own companies to attend the course, which culminated in a presentation at Furniture Makers’ Hall to a group of VIPs, liverymen and representatives from the companies involved. The four were: Simon Attard, graphics and marketing assistant at Panaz, having completed an MA Painting at the University of the Arts London, and a BA Hons Painting at University College Falmouth, Cornwall; Kelly Baker, who works for Axminster Tools & Machinery in specialist sales business development – she has a BA Hons in English Literature and Media Communications from Bath Spa University;

Manon Martel, who works for Ercol as a supply chain co-ordinator, following a BScSoc in Management Sciences and French from the University of Southampton, with an Erasmus year abroad at L’Ecole de Traduction et Interprétation, Université de Genève; and Thomas Winfield, who works for Blum UK as a sales administrator, following an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration at Aylesbury College.

The company's master, Paul von der Heyde, says: “I am thrilled to be celebrating a successful pilot of our industry experience course with all those who have made it happen. We have received so much generous support from all sectors of the industry. The four young professionals, who have enjoyed learning everything from design to retail and from fabrics to fitted kitchens, have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I am sure it will stand them in good stead for great careers in our growing industry. 

“We owe huge thanks to everyone involved for making this possible and look forward to developing the course further for the future, so we can offer this opportunity to more talented young people who will help our industry to flourish for many years to come.”

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