New sector voice for manufacturing apprenticeships launched

The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance – FIESTA – of which the NBF is a founding partner, is delighted to announce it is one of nine organisations representing employers across the manufacturing sector which are participating in a new partnership between industry and Government to grow the number of high-quality apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector.

Covid has created unprecedented challenges for the manufacturing sector, not least on employers’ plans for hiring apprentices and training the existing workforce. The Department for Education has started to build new partnerships between industry and government with the aim of challenging and addressing these barriers. AiM will strengthen this partnership through committed, skills-focused organisations working collaboratively.

On the 8th February, the Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart MP officially announced the launch of the new initiative, Apprenticeships in Manufacturing (AiM). He said: “The group has my full support in its vital agenda to grow the number of high-quality apprenticeships, the opportunities for young people, the number of manufacturing SMEs offering apprenticeships, and apprenticeships in new and Net Zero sectors.”

AiM is to be chaired by Anita Davenport-Brooks of the Lander Group, who said: “I am excited and honoured to be part of the AiM Group and look forward to working with the members to grow the number of high-quality apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector.  I believe that apprenticeships bring a valuable return on investment, not only financially but in every area of any business and I am passionate about the benefits they bring for individuals too. I have seen apprentices with differing abilities grow, develop and obtain substantive roles and there is common agreement that apprenticeships develop sustainable talent. I want to see AiM achieving on its objectives and growing more of this wonderful skilled talent for our sector.”

NBF Executive Director, Jessica Alexander, added: “I’m pleased to see FIESTA being an integral part of this new partnership and have high hopes it will aid us in our aim to secure our industry for the future by developing a committed skilled workforce for the future. We all desperately need to raise awareness of the many opportunities and attractions of working in the furniture and interiors sector: it’s both creative and hands-on, with a proud tradition of craftsmanship, as well as innovative and modern, with exciting prospects as it moves towards a new era of sustainable principles.”

Aside from FIESTA, the other eight members of AiM are: Cogent Skills, Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA), Enginuity, Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Make UK, National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD), UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) and the UK Metals Council (UKMC).

The group has close links with the National Manufacturing Skills Taskforce and is supported by the Department for Education, BEIS, DEFRA, DWP and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Employers who are considering starting or expanding apprenticeships for their business, can find out more at



Related Posts


The National Bed Federation is the recognised trade association representing UK manufacturers of beds and their suppliers. Founded in 1912, its members today account for about 75% of the total UK bedding turnover

Annual Report & Accounts

For the year ending December 2022

NBF Green

Our Goal: 75% of new mattress sales diverted from landfill by 2028.

For Members



NBF Members List

Our member directory is a list of current NBF members with contact details and their certificate number.

Product Search

A database of National Bed Federation members to help you search for either finished or component products.


Get the latest Industry News. Members News articles are only available to NBF members who are logged in to the website.

Newsletter Archive