Organisers of the Manchester Furniture Show have revealed the success of a small enterprise scheme Transformers, a year on after its stand at the 2015 event.
Transformers, a scheme aimed at helping local disadvantaged young people learn new skills, and potentially have a future in the furniture industry, exhibited last year and has since seen two of its students open a furniture shop in Salford selling up-cycled furniture.
The show has also allowed the scheme to help 60 other students, including one that now has secured a full time job with a trade visitor that attended the show.
Course leader Eric McBean said: “The Manchester Furniture Show played a vital role in developing the confidence of our young students. From the show we attracted suppliers of furniture and materials.
“Exhibitors shared contacts and one visitor offered job opportunities within their furniture manufacturing factory. The opportunity to exhibit surpassed our expectations and demonstrates what can be achieved though partnerships.”
Eric confirmed that the scheme has no further funding and without external support, the programme cannot operate, but remained hopeful that new funding can be secured to reinstate the course.
Laraine Janes, Manchester Furniture Show director, added: “We are delighted that from a small stand at Manchester last year so many good things have come. It would be wonderful if this scheme and other schemes like it could be funded and produce new talents for our industry in the future.”