Lisa Williamson Managing director at Occupational Awards Limited

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We are pleased to announce that the new Furniture Manufacturer Apprenticeship Standard and Assessment Plan which has been developed by employers has been approved and is available for delivery. The standard includes the following occupations:

•General Furniture Manufacturer

•Bed Manufacturer

•Modern Upholsterer

•Furniture Finisher

•Fitted Furniture Installer

•Furniture Restorer

•Modern Furniture Service Repairer

•Foam Convertor and Upholstery Cushion Interior Manufacturer

•Wood Machinist

•Furniture CNC Specialist




The apprenticeship standard and assessment plan has been published, which will replace current frameworks from 1st December 2016 as part of the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme to make apprenticeships more rigorous and more responsive to employers. The apprenticeship standard and Assessment Plan are live here:

The approval of the new Furniture Trailblazer standard marks a significant milestone for the furniture sector. 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.

As well as ensuring the future of the workforce there are some immediate and positive benefits for manufacturers. A better trained workforce also links to succession planning, better skills and better products, less wastage, fewer mistakes and improved productivity. The final incentive, for larger manufacturers in particular, could be the planned introduction of a new levy on employers next year.

The Steering Group have also developed supporting modules of assessment to support the delivery of the apprenticeship, these are available to download from the BFM website.