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​Line up for Furniture Makers’ Apprenticeship Levy conference announced

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, has organised a packed line-up of expert speakers for its one-day conference that will focus on the Apprenticeship Levy.

The ‘Bridging the Gap’ conference is taking place at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London on Thursday 18 May 2017.

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Cathy Hough, associate, Occupational Awards
  • Martin James, commercial director, Didac
  • Chris Hyde, director curriculum design, City of Oxford College
  • Julie Dix, training & development manager, Silentnight Brands
  • Louise Ash, director of people, Furniture Village
  • Lisa Williamson, operations & quality senior manager, Occupational Awards
  • Dr Lynn Jones, specialist furniture head-hunter and furniture careers adviser
  • Craig Matson, chairman, Kitchen Education Trust

Chaired by Gary Baker, managing director of CD UK, the conference’s morning session will cover the impact of the levy on the furnishing industry, how a company can work with training providers to launch an apprenticeship programme, how to implement apprentices on a national level and case studies from retailers and manufacturers.

The afternoon session will explore what issues still affect training and education in the furnishing industry, the challenges graduates face, the progress of the Level 2 and 3 apprenticeship standards and much more.

Charles Vernon, training and education chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “Whether you are paying it or not, the Apprenticeship Levy will affect all businesses which is why we are bringing together speakers from across the furnishing sector so we can collectively learn from each other. With a packed schedule and lots of time to network, the Bridging the Gap conference is essential for any business in the industry.”

The Apprenticeship Levy came into effect in April 2017 and is part of the government’s commitment to creating 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020.

The levy requires all employers operating in the UK with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million to spend 0.5% of the total to help fund apprenticeships.

Tickets to the Bridging the Gap conference cost £45+VAT and are available to purchase from Eventbrite: Lunch is included.

More information about the sessions and speakers at the conference will become available at