POSTED ON 03/01/2021 IN Blog BY Jamie Bourn

Growing Talent at Whitemeadow

In recognition of National Careers Week, Whitemeadow are proud to support a number of 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, we are committed to developing talent at all ages.

As an Investors in People accredited employer, one initiative we are particular proud of is the establishment of our very own in-house Sewing School. Launched in 2019, it was designed to help fill the skills gap in Sewing Machinists in the local area and find the next generation of skilled upholstery Sewing Machinists.  All participants receive on-the-job training in all aspects of sewing fabrics required to make our range of sofas and other furniture. The course is a combination of formal and informal training which leads to a L2 Qualification. So far we have successfully trained 10 machinists who now work full time in our production sites.

The course is led by Mandy Harper, Apprentice Programme Manager. She currently has 7 apprentices with 7 new recruits starting on March 1st. Mandy comments "The main aim of my role is to offer high quality on-the-job training which is essential for the manufacturing of quality domestic upholstered furniture. I am responsible for the development and performance of all the apprentices and the main point of contact for Webs Training Ltd, our outside educational provider".

Following the success of the Sewing School, we are very excited to be launching our Upholstery School later in 2021. Recruits will be trained in everything from attaching padding and springs to building furniture using loose fibre fillings, cotton, felt and foam padding.

And as a further demonstration to our commitment to developing talent, we will shortly be launching a new Careers Hub on our website, offering advice and insight into working in the upholstery industry.