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Duke of Gloucester meets Ellis Furniture apprentice
An apprentice from Huddersfield-based manufacturer Ellis Furniture, Chris Mattimoe, recently had the honour of meeting The Duke of Gloucester during his official visit to Leeds College of Building, the UK's only specialist construction college.
Whilst on official engagements in Yorkshire, The Duke, a former architect who now represents The Queen at royal engagements, requested a visit to the college after learning of numerous national and international accolades the students have secured.
With a long standing interest in construction and a firm advocate of apprenticeships, The Duke was keen to mix with students and convey his passion for the trade. Whilst visiting the timber and wood machining workshops at the college he approached Chris - is one of the latest recruits on the three-year Ellis Furniture Apprenticeship - as he operated a complex spindle moulder. After enquiring about the accuracy of the machine, The Duke took part himself, checking the dimensions of the finished part using a Vernier gauge.
17 year old Chris joined Ellis Furniture as an apprentice in August 2011 after successfully passing a construction skills test and interviews. So comprehensive and successful is the apprenticeship operated by Ellis Furniture that not only do many recruits enter long-term employment with the family business on completion, several apprentices have secured awards from Leeds College of Building for their quality of work. Recent award-winning Ellis Furniture apprentices include Daniel Fugler and Oliver Wike who both secured awards after producing intricate pieces of furniture and demonstrating a high level of attention to detail.
Ellis Furniture director Richard Ellis comments: "We take on around three new apprentices each year, providing a great start for these young people and enabling them to learn the skills they need for a fantastic lifelong career. In doing so, we bring fresh talent into our business and the furniture manufacturing industry, developing wonderful young craftsmen, who we hope will stay with us long after their apprenticeship ends."
With many UK businesses already buying into the benefits of apprenticeships, this successful method of vocational training is sure to increase in the future. Only recently Business Secretary Vince Cable proposed new measures to boost the availability of apprenticeships, in a bid to combat the growing level of youth unemployment, now at a record high of one million.
Richard continues: "We have a great recipe for success here at Ellis Furniture. Our family business has been built over four generations, on the solid foundations of outstanding attention to detail, the use of high quality materials, and highly skilled craftsmen. Apprenticeships form a key part of that for us. The apprentices we nurture are perfectly placed to continue the production of Ellis Furniture with care and outstanding attention to detail. Of our c200 strong team, 51 are fully trained Ellis Furniture apprentices, and they continue to use their cabinet making, finishing and assembly skills every day across our product ranges. Apprenticeships really do create a win-win situation."
Chris Mattimoe adds: "It was a fantastic honour to be approached by The Duke of Gloucester on his visit to Leeds College, he was incredibly interested in my work and studies. I am really enjoying my apprenticeship with Ellis Furniture, it's a great start to what I hope will be a successful career in carpentry."
T: 01484 514 212
20th January 2012