Apprentice Tom carving a career in furniture industry

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson visited Silentnight in Barnoldswick during National Apprenticeship Week. (S)
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson visited Silentnight in Barnoldswick during National Apprenticeship Week. (S)

A promising Pendle apprentice could be carving himself a bright future after landing a prestigious opportunity.

Twenty-three-year-old Tom Firth, a Higher Apprentice in Furniture Manufacture and Design at Silentnight in Barnoldswick, has been accepted on to the Furniture Makers’ Company “Young Professional Industry Experience” programme.

Tom will embark on the course this spring after being awarded one of only eight places available nationally.

He was presented with an excellence award by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson who was visiting Silentnight during National Apprenticeship Week.

Mr Stephenson visited the site in Long Ing Lane to meet with the board of directors and got an insight into the work of the apprentices, specialising in areas including management, customer services and logistics.

Silentnight currently employs 670 staff at its Barnoldswick headquarters and has provided apprenticeships in the area for more than 10 years.

The firm offers young people a variety of career opportunities and a guaranteed job placement upon successful completion of their training.

Dr Julie Dix, People Development and Training Co-ordinator at Silentnight, said: “We were delighted to have Andrew visit the company and meet our apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week.

“This was part of a week long celebration of our apprenticeships and a chance to highlight the opportunities available to young people locally.

“Tom is a great example of how an apprenticeship can launch your career and we are proud to be creating opportunities in the area for people to follow in his footsteps.”

MP Andrew Stephenson said: “It’s been a fascinating visit and it is great to see Silentnight investing in developing life long skills of people in the area.

“The company is a leading local employer and its award-winning apprenticeship scheme is truly transforming the lives of the young people who are part of it.”

The “Young Professional Industry Experience” is an intensive three-week programme, taking place over five weeks starting later in the year.

Young professionals like Tom are given an unrivalled opportunity to experience and understand all areas of the furnishing industry supply chain.