26 May 2024, 15:46
By Furniture News Jun 24, 2013

Winners of MakeIT! schools competition 2013 announced

The winners of the third annual MakeIT! competition for school students have been announced at a packed awards ceremony at the National Furniture Show at Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Oxfordshire. Attracting a host of industry professionals and finalist schools, the event celebrated the hard work and achievements of the thousands of students who took part in this year’s MakeIT! Furniture and MakeIT! Wood competitions.

At the event, Joshua Sims, a pupil from Henry Box School in Oxfordshire was announced as the 2013 MakeIT! overall winner. Joshua was awarded the prize for his chair design, and received an array of prizes, including a practical upholstering book, a tool prize pack, a £25 iTunes voucher, a £20 cheque, an invite to the students evening at the Worshipful company of Furniture Makers and a visit to New Holland, the largest privately-owned dock and timber import facility in the UK, all courtesy of AMUSF, Sally Clarke, Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, Howarth Timber and Arborforest. 

Chris Hyde, head of the National School of Furniture, says: “It is vital that the future generation of designers and makers can be inspired and supported through creative partnerships between training centres and industry. The MakeIT! project, led by the National Skills Academy, is a great example of how this can work.”

As part of the MakeIT! Furniture programme, students are asked to design an item of furniture for use by one of the primary sectors, which can be manufactured using sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing techniques. Within the MakeIT! Wood programme students have to research and design a product, identifying the type of raw materials used, considering sustainable design and investigating production processes, as well as showing their understanding of environmental issues in the wood and timber industries.

Jackie Bazeley, CEO of the British Furniture Manufacturers trade association, says: “The BFM is committed to supporting the MakeIT! Furniture Awards as it is essential we encourage new blood into the industry to ensure its sustainability. With an ageing workforce young people entering companies is essential to maintain the Great British Furniture tradition."

Survey results from the programme show that after completing the MakeIT! Wood or MakeIT! Furniture schemes, 75% of participating students understand the innovation and design skills that are key to success in the industry. MakeIT! has also been responsible for a 56% increase in students considering a career in the furniture industry.

Richard Moore, director of schools programmes for the National Skills Academy for Materials, Production & Supply, says: “I’d like to congratulate every one of the students that entered the competition and all of the winners. Schools programmes aim to influence the career choices of the students by demonstrating how exciting and creative both the wood and furniture industries can be.”

Mr O’Callaghan, teacher of the overall winner and winner of the Best Teacher Award, says: “This competition has generated a lot of excitement and interest around the design and technology department and has been a brilliant incentive for our students to want to succeed. It has opened their eyes to the fact that there are colleges such as Rycotewood that specialise in woodwork/furniture design.”

Richard Moore concludes: ”Without industry support we would not be able to run such programmes so I urge everyone who is not yet involved to step forward and offer their support to ensure the future of this fantastic education initiative.”

2012/13 winners:
MakeIT! Furniture Year 9 winner – Joshua Sims – Henry Box School
MakeIT! Furniture Year 10 winner – Troy Aston-Wright – Dene Magna School
MakeIT! Furniture Year 12 winner – Charles Oyediran – Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School
Commended Design Winner – Tom Penrose – King Alfred’s School
Best Design Images Winner – Chloe Poulter – Richmond Upon Thames College
Best Design Development Process – Jodie Wonford – Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School
MakeIT! Wood Year 9 winner – Harry Swift – Henry Box School
MakeIT! Wood Year 10 winner – Alexander Picton – St. Alban’s Catholic High School
Best Teacher – Mr Nick O’Callaghan – Henry Box School
Overall Winner of MakeIT! 2013 – Joshua Sims – Henry Box School

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