Earlier this month, Whitemeadow hosted its first external open day to showcase its Sewing and Upholstery Academies to local students who may be interested in a career in the furniture industry in the future.

Whitemeadow’s in-house upholstery trainer and a number of apprentice sewing machinists were on hand with Webs Training to make sure all the students received some valuable hands-on experience on the day.

Kim Dellar, careers lead at Quarrydale Academy, comments: “The pupils really enjoyed the visit and they were very interested in seeing how something is made from start to finish. Doing visits like this gives them the opportunity to experience the 'world of work' and hopefully gives them ideas about what they can do for a future career.”

Karen Clarridge, head of group HR at Whitemeadow, adds: “We had a fantastic day sharing our knowledge and skills with local students, plus educating them on the apprenticeships on offer here at Whitemeadow. We all feel that it is a very worthwhile project, not only promoting the company in the local area, but showing school children in the community that there are some fantastic career opportunities right on their doorstep in the future. We hope to see some of their faces behind a sewing machine or an upholstery bench in a few years’ time!”

Local residents were also offered the opportunity to find out more about career opportunities in the furniture industry. Whitemeadow also works with partners such as job centres, parole services and the Armed Forces Community to provide pathways into work.

Due to the success of the open day, Whitemeadow is planning further similar events in the future.