The Furniture and
Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) is finishing 2019 on
a high after confirming that eight level 2 manufacturing apprenticeship
pathways will be renewed in 2020, following much campaigning by the trade body.
Back in July the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical
Education (IFATE), the controlling authority on apprenticeship standards, warned
that the current Furniture Manufacturer standard would need reviewing before
the end of 2019 as it was no longer fit for purpose.
This meant that the existing single standard with pathways would
need to be replaced by separate standards for each specialist occupation if
government funded skills training is to be maintained.
Due to a lack of uptake and concerns surrounding funding, FIESTA
had planned on rationalising the current standard, phasing out five pathways
and creating four new level 2 furniture pathways:
- Fitted Furniture Installer
- Furniture Manufacturer
- Modern Upholsterer
- Wood Machinist (incorporating Furniture CNC
In October FIESTA undertook a campaign to win support from manufacturers for the other standards and has since received backing from bed manufacturer Silentnight and sofa manufacturer and retailer DFS. Both companies will support the development of the Bed Manufacturer standard and the Modern Furniture Service Repairer standard, respectively.
Furthermore, the Modern
Upholsterer standard is to be reviewed with the support of apprenticeship
experts Achieve & Partners. FIESTA has also received industry support for the
review and development of the Furniture Restorer standard.
Gary Baker, FIESTA
chairman, said: “The substantial steps successfully undertaken by FIESTA means
that nine of the existing 10 pathways will be developed into eight standards,
with only the Foam Converter pathway ceasing to exist. We would like to thank
the companies and individuals who have heeded our calls for support. I’m very
excited about the developments we will be able to announce next year as FIESTA
starts to get traction and add real value to the industry.”
The news of the renewal
of the level 2 pathways follows the completion and imminent launch of the level
3 apprenticeship standards in New Furniture Product Developer, Advanced CNC
Technician, Bespoke Furniture Maker and Advanced Upholsterer.
For more information about FIESTA, go to www.fiestalearning.com
Notes to editors
More information about FIESTA,
including its vision and mission, is available here.
FIESTA members include: The
Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF), The British
Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA), The British Furniture Manufacturers
(BFM), The Furniture Makers’ Company, the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom
Specialists Association (KBSA), The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET) and the
National Bed Federation (NBF).
FIESTA works with the British
Furniture Confederation to communicate education and training needs to the
For more information, please