The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, is calling for entries for a new award that will recognise the efforts and career progression of apprentices working in the furnishing industry.

The Apprentice Award is open to anyone studying and working towards a retail, manufacturing or service apprenticeship at a UK furnishing company.

Companies are invited to nominate apprentices working within their business who have made exceptional progress and demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in the furnishing industry.

The judges of the new award will be Tony Smart, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company 2017-2018; Paul von der Heyde, chairman of the Manufacturing Guild Mark; Karen Clarridge, HR manager at Whitemeadow; Julie Dix, training and development manager at Silentnight Brands; and Caroline Gascoigne, learning and development manager at DFS.

The deadline for applications is Friday 19th May 2017. Apprentices that are shortlisted will be invited, with a representative from their company, to make a brief presentation to the judges during a judging day at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London in June. The winner will be presented with the award at the Company’s annual Royal Charter Dinner on Thursday 26th October 2017.

Paul von der Heyde says: “The Furniture Makers’ Company is keen to support, encourage and reward outstanding apprentices pursuing a career in the industry.

“With the Level 2 Apprentice Standards given ministerial approval last year and the new Apprenticeship Levy coming into force in April, there has never been a better time for a company to implement an apprenticeship programme. This new award, which is part of the Manufacturing Guild Mark, will celebrate the work of apprentices that are flourishing and the companies supporting them.”

Entry forms are available from The Furniture Makers’ Company website.