Four Young Furniture Makers went on a three day all-expenses paid trip to Blum’s manufacturing facility in Vorarlberg, Austria last month.

Brodie Haward, Emily Lindsay, Matthew Pembery and Harriet Speed were flown out to Blum’s facility with Anne Sampson, educational events and campaigns manager at The Furniture Maker’s Company, as award winners from our Young Furniture Makers exhibition.

Brodie, Emily and Matthew were winners of our School Design Prize, while Harriet was presented with the Blum Best in Show Prize.

The Young Furniture Makers were given a tour of Blum’s eight plants comprising of 3.5million square feet of production space.

Matthew said: “It was an amazing opportunity to visit one of the largest high quality manufacturing operations in Europe.”

During the trip, the winners met Blum apprentices who were being trained in the fields of electrical, design, plastic and mechanical engineering.

They were also shown manufacturing techniques that Blum uses in its drawers and fittings that make their products suitable for those who are elderly or people with disabilities.

Matthew added: “As a first year architecture student it was really insightful to see the manufacturing process of a product from the raw material to the final piece. This has improved my appreciation for detail in manufacturing, which I think is directly applicable for me designing more effectively and proficiently in future.”

The company, which is a corporate member of The Furniture Makers’ Company, has over 7,000 employees and more than 5,500 of those employees based in Vorarlberg.

Harriet said: “I was really impressed with the fact Blum invest so much in the future of their business, particularly through their apprenticeship scheme, which seems like an amazing opportunity for young people. I think the fact that 10% of the apprentices are women is really motivating. For a young woman working in a male dominated field, it’s interesting to know the positive impact having a more gender balanced work place can have on you. It was also great to see so many young women enjoying practical work.”

Harriet added: “I now have a better understanding of Blum products, and how they are produced. I understand the measures they take to ensure a top quality product. It was a great prize and opportunity.”

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