KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th March 2017
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Ellis Furniture praises enduring popularity of apprenticeship schemes
Ellis Furniture - a leading manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom furniture - is praising the enduring popularity of its apprenticeship scheme after 120 years, claiming it is just as popular today as it was back then, with more than a quarter of current employees having joined the company as apprentices. The renowned manufacturer places quality craftmanship and attention to detail at the heart of its business philosophy and considers apprentices invaluable in achieving business goals.
The value of apprenticeships was recently highlighted by David Cameron, when he announced a new round of Government funding to help secure much needed skills in industry. He said: "I'm delighted to underline our commitment to strengthen our economy by helping employers to take on apprentices and ensure that the UK workforce has the skills that businesses need. Under this Government, apprenticeship starts are increasing at a record rate with improvements across the age range, in all sectors, throughout the country."
In conjunction with Leeds College of Building - the UK's only specialist construction college - Ellis Furniture employs three apprentices every year. Each apprentice spends three years progressing through the scheme, learning the essential foundations of furniture making and gaining the skills required to operate specialised machinery. So successful is the apprenticeship operated by Ellis Furniture that several apprentices have secured national and regional awards for the outstanding quality of their work.
During their third year, apprentices are trained for a permanent role in the company, an opportunity pursued by many. An incredible 56 of the current 200-strong workforce began their career with Ellis Furniture as apprentices, and have taken on a variety of roles across the business from machinist, to assembly, finishing and furniture design. Many continue into long-term employment, remaining with the family business for many years.
David Hughes, for example, a former apprentice now approaching his retirement, has dedicated 50 years' service to Ellis Furniture following successful completion of his apprenticeship.
This fantastic retention rate plays a key role in the success of the scheme, with former apprentices nurturing the fresh, young talent and supporting the new members of the team as they progress through the scheme.
Ellis Furniture director Richard Ellis comments: "We truly value the role our apprentices play in the continued success of our business. Through four generations of the Ellis family we have invested in our apprentice scheme, which continues to go from strength to strength and is as popular as ever. More than a quarter of our team started with us as apprentices.
"To give such enthusiastic young people a fantastic start with the opportunity to gain the skills required to carve out a lifelong career, is a real honour. In turn, we benefit from securing some incredibly promising young craftsmen who we nurture and train, enabling them to continue the production of Ellis Furniture products with care and outstanding attention to detail. We believe that apprenticeship schemes will continue to play a pivotal role in our business and many other businesses in the future."
Picture shows: Some Ellis Furniture apprentices. David Hughes (front row, centre) has dedicated 50 years' service to Ellis Furniture.
To read David Cameron's quote visit:
T: 01484 514 212
20th April 2012