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Qualification organisation Occupational Awards has announced that the new Furniture Manufacturer Apprenticeship Standard and Assessment Plan has been approved for delivery.

The apprenticeship standard and assessment plan will replace current frameworks from 1 December 2016 as part of the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme to make apprenticeships more rigorous and more responsive to employers.

The programme is designed to give a wide range of skills appropriate to the different occupations in the industry, which include bed and upholstery manufacturing, as well as service, restoration and repair standards.

The standard for the furniture manufacturer was developed by 63 companies within the industry.

The apprenticeship standard and Assessment Plan is now live at

Michael Dingwall, manufacturing director at Harrison Spinks and chair of the Steering Group, which had government permission to redesign the apprenticeship standard, said: “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 Standard and Assessment Plan have been approved and perhaps more so that the approach we have taken now has the required backing.”

Lisa Williamson, managing director at Occupational Awards, who have provided support to the group, and will become the Registered Apprenticeship Assessment Organisation, said: “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.”

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