The new Furniture Manufacturing Apprenticeship Standard has been developed by employers has been approved. The apprenticeship standard has now been published, which in time will replace current frameworks as part of the Government's apprenticeship reform programme to make apprenticeships more rigorous and more responsive to employers.

The standard includes the following occupational options:

  • General Furniture Manufacturing
  • Bed Making
  • Modern Upholstery

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:
“Apprenticeships are a real success story. Through giving leading employers such as Silentnight, the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships we can give young people the skills our economy vitally needs. I congratulate members of the Furniture Manufacturing Trailblazer on their involvement in designing the new apprenticeships for Furniture Manufacturing, which we have published today.”

Michael Dingwall, manufacturing manager at Silentnight and chair of the steering group, said:
“As the furniture industry is so large and diverse the setting of the new standards has been a difficult job. Our steering group and working groups have had representation from across the industry, from SME’s to large scale manufacturers, and trying to ensure everyone had their say and the new standards covered everyone’s views has been somewhat of a challenge. We are so pleased that the 3 occupational options we have submitted have been approved and perhaps more so that the approach we have taken now has the required backing. Over the next few months we will be working hard to complete the other four occupational options that will complete our Furniture Manufacturing Trailblazer.”

Jonathan Ledger, managing director of Proskills UK Group, which has provided support to this group of trailblazing employers said:
"We are delighted about this announcement as it is testimony to the dedication and hard work which the employer-led group has put into this exciting apprenticeship reform. The approval of the new Furniture Trailblazer standard marks a significant milestone for the furniture sector and its industrial partnership with Proskills.
We welcome this ground-breaking new approach to robust apprenticeships that the government and industry is taking and could not be more pleased with the industry-led design of this new standard. Congratulations to all involved. We would encourage all furniture employers to join the illustrious list of employers already involved."