Bridging the Gap conference speakers announced

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, has confirmed the speaker line-up for its ‘Bridging the Gap’ conference.

Taking place on May 18 at Furniture Makers’ Hall in London, the conference will focus on the apprenticeship levy, which came into effect in April.

Confirmed speakers include:

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

The conference will be chaired by Gary Baker, managing director of CD UK, with the morning session focusing on 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 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 levy is part of the Government’s commitment to creating three million apprenticeships in England by 2020.

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

Home > News > Bridging the Gap conference speakers announced