YOUNG professionals working across the furniture sector have been given an insight into the UK furnishing industry by completing The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Young Professionals Industry Experience (YPIE).

Launched in 2014 and principally sponsored by the January Furniture Show, the YPIE course brings together young talent working in the furnishing industry to take part in an intensive three-week learning programme.

The group is given access to all areas of the industry supply chain, learning about raw materials and components, the complexity of manufacturing, buying criteria, pricing, marketing and merchandising, through to consumer law, after sales and customer service.

This year’s participants were Ben Brook, customer service advisor at CD (UK) Ltd, Sean Duffin, production manager at Andrew Muirhead & Son Limited; Lisa Gould Sandall, furniture designer at Ercol; and Sam Ryan, founder of Sam Ryan Furniture (pictured, above).

Twenty companies opened their doors in May and June to give the four professionals an insight into their businesses, including: Anti Copying in Design, Axminster Tools & Machinery, Blum, Cabinet Maker, DFS, Ercol, FIRA, Fishpools, The Furniture Ombudsman, Halstock, Herman Miller, Howdens Joinery, Hypnos, Muirhead Leather, Parker Knoll, Panaz, Purves & Purves, Silentnight and UBM.

The group also attended the build-up and first day of the Manchester Furniture Show, to understand what it takes to organise and prepare for a trade show.

Dr Tony Smart MBE, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company (pictured, above centre), said: "The Young Professionals Industry Experience is a unique opportunity that only The Furniture Makers’ Company is able to create and provide through our membership. I would like to thank all of the companies that have supported the 2017 course as well as our main sponsor the January Furniture Show."

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