On Tuesday 17 September, The Furniture Makers Company hosted its annual Student Presentations evening to celebrate the UK’s young design talent.

As the furniture industry’s central organisation, charity and patron, The Furniture Makers Company works with the industry to support industry schemes, projects and competitions that encourage students to excel.

This year’s industry sponsors included Willis & Gambier, Furniture Village, Vitafoam, Kinghtsbridge, Burgess Beds, Crofts & Assinder, KI, Ercol, Gloster Furniture, and Hands of Wycombe.

Jonathan Hindle, master of the Furniture Makers, says: “It is vital that the Furniture Makers works with the industry to ensure that the profession has the talent it needs now and in the future to flourish. The presentation evening brings together schemes, supported by furniture companies, to encourage young designers and showcases the enormous young talent that the UK has.

“It is encouraging to see more industry engagement directly with students, colleges and universities, alongside ever-increasing student participation in the programmes which the company supports.”

This year’s presentation was attended by Stephen McPartland MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group, who presented the Young Furniture Maker of the Year award to the student who has contributed most to the company this year.

Stephen says: “It is a real pleasure to meet the designers of the future, and I have been particularly impressed by the range of skills on show. The company is doing a huge amount of work with young people, as we have seen through these projects, and I am very happy to support the Furniture Makers Company and its Young Furniture Makers programme. Seeing young furniture designers having 100% success in getting jobs is very encouraging for the industry.”

The Young Furniture Maker of the Year award was presented to Michael Sewell, who takes part in the company’s youth section and is a member of the Young Furniture Makers committee. The winner of the Young Furniture Maker of the Year is selected for the work carried out to promote the company to other students, and for being the best advocate of the young professionals in the Young Furniture Makers Group. 

On winning the award, Michael Sewell said: “Being a part of the Young Furniture Makers committee has been a really rewarding experience. The committee has widened my professional networks, which in turn has played a huge part in securing full-time employment.

“The Furniture Makers joins young and old designers together and the community spirit I have felt through my role has become a vital stepping stone between university and my career.”