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Furniture maker’s careers hub aims to tackle skills gap

Posted onPosted on 29th Sep

ASHFIELD-based Whitemeadow Furniture, which has been working hard to address the skills gap in the upholstery industry over the past two years, has launched an online Careers Hub.

It is aimed at educating and attracting young people, as well as those wanting a career change into the industry, to give an insight into various roles available in the upholstery trade.

The hub provides hints and tips for kick-starting careers as well as behind-the-scenes insights into roles and people at Whitemeadow.

The company already supports several initiatives, both industry-wide and as an employer, to encourage more people into the upholstery industry. From sponsoring School Design Prizes in local schools to offering year-long placements to product design university students, Whitemeadow said it was committed to developing talent at all ages.

Earlier this year it hosted its first open day to give local school students a taste of what it’s like to work in the industry. Further events are planned next year.

Managing director Ian Oscroft said: “We’ve got a great team here that we are extremely proud of. We employ more than 650 people at present but are still needing a range of people to fill various roles, especially in our production facilities.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging 12-month period, but it has encouraged us to focus our attention on ensuring that we are employing and retaining high-quality members of staff who are proud to work for the company and who are passionate about what they do.

“The Careers Hub is a further demonstration of our commitment to not only fill the skills gap in our industry, but to ensure that we have a workforce that believes in our vision and values so that we can continue to be a leading supplier to our many valued customers.”

Whitemeadow launched a Sewing School in 2019 and has now trained 24 full-time sewing machinists who all work in its production sites. Now the company is set to also launch its first Upholstery School.

Both schools will be based at its new Langham Park site in South Normanton. Those who complete either course will leave with a Modern Upholsterer Level 2 qualification and the offer of a full-time permanent role with the company.

To find out more about career and apprentice opportunities at Whitemeadow, go to the Careers Hub —