Now in its 37th year, the Chippendale International School of Furniture has seen a surge in demand for its woodworking courses since the pandemic - and despite the rising cost of living, there are no signs of applications slowing.
The East Lothian-based not-for-profit school reports that, since 2019, places on both the professional furnituremaking course and shorter complementary courses have continuously sold out as more people leave corporate jobs in pursuit of creative careers.
Today, Chippendale’s flagship Professional Course 2022/23 is welcoming a new cohort of students from around the world to study fine furnituremaking in the school’s rural location over the next nine months.
Tom Fraser, school principal, says the demand from people seeking to change careers is "unrelenting", with many incoming students having swapped professional roles to carve a new path this year: “In recent years we have seen a spike in applications from people rethinking their priorities and seeking fulfilment from alternative career paths. The pandemic was a real catalyst for this, but the enduring demand for courses proves that the 'Great Resignation' is still ongoing.
“Our courses appeal to those seeking the flexibility of a career that fits around their lifestyle, and that allows them to take control of their income. We are also still seeing the after-effects of the pandemic, with some students mentioning burn-out as a driver for change.”
Pictured: 2022 Professional Course graduate Molly Johnson