Inside tips to help furniture manufacturers attract the best talent and get the most from their training programmes will be delivered at an inaugural regional industry networking event, organised by the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) at Ercol.

Entitled The Workforce of Tomorrow the event has been developed specifically for the furniture community to try and help address recruitment challenges the industry faces, and to enable BFM members and non-members to network and share best practice.

Taking place at Ercol’s manufacturing headquarters in Princes Risborough on Thursday, May 26 after working hours from 6pm to 9pm, the networking session includes a tour of Ercol’s factory.

The event will include a whistle-stop tour of good practice in utilising available tools like apprenticeships and new qualifications to support workforce development and retention.

Derek Williams, quality director at Achieve+Partners, a leading Awarding and End-point Assessment Organisation for the furniture industry, will cover a range of topics to help BFM members and non-members.

He will give delegates an understanding of how to unleash the power of apprenticeships to add value to their business, set-out what place T Level qualifications have in supporting the upskilling of the workforce, and discuss the return on investment in developing own-grown talent. Mr Williams has a lifetime in skills development, regulation, quality assurance and inspection of the provision of learning.

He set up Achieve+Partners alongside Lisa Williamson and Amanda Moore with the aim to support the furniture industry with tailored products and services that will support the current and future generations of the industry.

Achieve+Partners is a Strategic partner to FIESTA—The Furniture and Interiors Education Skills and Training Alliance—supporting the development and maintenance of products and services that support the industry.

Sean Holt, BFM md, said: "Training is number one on the agenda for many furniture manufacturers and this event is a great opportunity to come together and find out the routes that can be taken to help address one of the biggest challenges facing the industry.

"Ercol is a fantastic setting for the event and this is a great opportunity for furniture manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and sellers to network, make contacts and help their respective businesses to evolve and grow."

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