Building a Future: How Apprentices Contribute to the Timber Furniture Business


As the owner of a small timber furniture making business, I’ve always believed in the importance of employing apprentices. They play a crucial role within our company, allowing us to train them according to our favoured and specialised work practices. We take the time to teach them the specific processes we use, even though it may result in lower productivity initially due to the increased hours of support and training.

Investing in apprentices is subsidised by the government. These subsidies help offset the costs associated with training and mentoring apprentices, making it a more viable option for our business. While it does require additional energy and time on our part, we firmly believe that the benefits of training apprentices outweigh the challenges.

Like everyone else, we all must start somewhere, and apprenticeships provide a valuable opportunity for young individuals to gain hands-on experience and develop their skills. In our case, we have two dedicated and enthusiastic apprentices named Louis and Rylee. Both are currently completing their Certificate III in furniture making and cabinetry.

Louis, a mature-aged student greatly appreciates a neat and tidy workspace. He’s cautious in his approach to tasks and asks a lot of questions, making my role as teacher far easier, His eagerness and devotion to our business is inspiring and greatly valued. Rylee, on the other hand, is a junior apprentice who is eager to learn and grow in the industry. Nothing is a problem for Rylee, He’s has a gentle nature and shows great initiative when carrying out required tasks. Both share a genuine love for working with timber, appreciating the beauty and intricacies of different wood species.

As their boss and mentor, I take pride in guiding Louis and Rylee not only in their technical training but also in their personal and professional development. They are not just employees; they are part of our team and integral to the workings of our business. We recognise that they need more than just technical skills—they also require nurturing, support, and guidance during this challenging phase of their lives.

So, by investing in apprenticeships, we not only contribute to the growth and sustainability of our business but also play a role in shaping the future of these young individuals. It is a rewarding experience to witness their progress, watch their skills flourish, and know that we have played a part in their journey towards becoming skilled craftsmen.

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