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FIESTA – The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance

Press release

13 June 2017

Let the FIESTA commence

Trade associations from across the UK furniture and interiors industries have united under a single banner, the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA), to combat the threat of a widening skills gap.

The new organisation aims to unite and inspire furniture and interiors businesses, helping the industry to become a sector of choice within the UK by facilitating internationally recognised skills development.

FIESTA will provide a forum that allows its stakeholders to identify, clarify, promote and engage with all issues and needs relating to education, training and skills for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the furniture and interiors industry.

The alliance will be employer-led and bring the industry together through an inclusive approach. It will aim to streamline skills provision to avoid duplication of resources and enable easy access to the highest quality education and skills training.

FIESTA will work with the British Furniture Confederation to communicate education and training needs to the government.

The trade associations represented at the first meeting, held at Furniture Makers’ Hall on Monday 22 May, were: The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers, The British Contract Furnishing Association, The British Furniture Manufacturers Association, The Furniture Makers’ Company, The Kitchen, Bedrooms, Bathrooms National Training Group, The Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association, The Kitchen Education Trust and The National Bed Federation.

The need for a dedicated industry forum to identify and discuss education and training requirements was proposed at The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Bridging the Gap Apprenticeship Levy conference and welcomed by professionals from across the UK furniture and interiors industry.

Gary Baker, managing director of CDUK, the distributor of Corian® in the UK and Ireland, has been appointed as chairman of the new alliance.


Design Law and Intellectual Property – BFM Seminar 5th July 2017

British Furniture Manufacturers
Invitation to BFM Workshop  

Design Law and Intellectual Property What has changed and how best to gain protection

To be held at Cranmore Park Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, Solihull B90 4LF Wednesday 5th July 2017

10.30am to 12.30pm – followed by buffet lunch (Registration from 10.00am)

“Do you know the difference between copyright and trade marks? UK and EU designs? What amounts to an unlawful copy? What you should register, and when? Simon Clark from Bristows will be giving an update on all of these issues following the successful seminar we ran last year, covering all the recent changes in the law relating to designs and brands which will affect you. The practical session will also include:

  • How Brexit may change your intellectual property strategy
  • Strategies to maximise the value of registered rights
  • Best practice for ensuring you are fully prepared for any attack on your designs and brands
  • Terms and conditions for your customers and suppliers
  • What not to do if someone copies your designs to avoid making things worse.

As usual, there will be a £50 plus VAT nominal fee to contribute towards room hire and lunch. To register please email the names of the people you wish to attend to:


Upholstery student looking for work experience/part time employment – London

My name is Penni and I have been working within the craft sector for just over 10 years.  I have a strong passion to learn new skills and being practical is what I thrive at most.

I’m currently studying at the London Metropolitan university coming up to the completion of the AMUSF Upholstery stage 2 qualification.

I am very keen to enter into the field of upholstery in the near future and would really value some work experience or part time work to gain further training alongside my studying. 

I live in East London and currently work four days a week as a screen printing and production manager for a homeware company and one day a week as a production assistant with a soft furnishing company.  

If you have an upholstery workshop in London and would love some studio help for possibly 1 day a week then please do get in touch with me via my email on 

Part Time Upholstery Tutor, Stirling, Scotland

Based in Stirling, Scotland, we are looking for a professionally trained and qualified upholsterer, with a wide variety of experience within the industry to teach traditional and modern upholstery techniques to our students.Someone who is able to work to a high standard both in a team environment and independently.The position is currently 2 days per week with the possibly of rising to 3 days.

We would be happy to consider an AMUSF Qualified to Diploma Stage 3 graduate who has gained good sound work experience with a practitioner since qualification.

Being an approved training provider for Upholstery courses accredited by the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF) the three stage curriculum work is assessed throughout the period of study.

For further information please contact Jackie’s email address <>

We are also currently looking to recruit a trainee tutor (Upholstery Technician) to bring on, and again a recently qualified Diploma Stage 3 graduate, who is willing to combine starting work experience along with tutor training, would fit the bill.

Re-Upholsterer Wanted – Chirk

Richmond Upholstery is a family business. Established over 40 years ago. Our client base is top end, and we specialise in Re-upholstery, Curtains and all soft Furnishings, Situated on the wonderful North Wales / Shropshire border in the small town of Chirk.

Due to another exceptional year to satisfy our clients and cope with the high demand for our work we urgently need an upholsterer with experience in antiques and modern furniture.

Ideal Candidate

You will need to be an experienced Upholsterer, with the following skills :

-Cutting and Sewing

-Previous experience of using leather

-Deep buttoning

-Work on own initiative

-Have a keen eye for detail

-Have pride in your work

Loose cover experience would be a great advantage

This is a permanent position.     Excellent salary.     3 month trial period.      Work Place Pension.

Please contact :

Upholstery Technician – London Met University

We seek an Upholstery technician to support our Upholstery academics and students throughout the year. This is a technical support role which will involve planning, developing and delivering practical components of the course as well as ensuring all equipment and materials are prepared for lessons, kept in working order and organising the upkeep of the workshop and student’s work.

For full details of how to apply, job description and remuneration please click here.

Forthcoming Training Courses from the Furniture Ombudsman

The Furniture Ombudsman

Upcoming training

AMUSF is an Affiliate Member of The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO) which means that all members of AMUS benefit from discounted rates on all TFO training.

Book your next training session in advance to ensure you have your place secure. Enquiries on any of the below course can be made to Judith Turner by e-mail or by phone on 0333 241 3209. Bookings should be made through Sarah Griffett by e-mail or by phone on 0207 042 6494. 

Pricing and advertising compliance

The course covers the latest Trading Standards guidance released in December 2016 in relation to pricing, including CAP and BCAP codes, self-regulation, and the role of regulatory bodies within the consumer landscape. We will discuss specific examples, including sale prices, retail prices, price comparisons and free offers, relevant case law and ASA decisions.

This will next be on:

05 July 2017

Time: 9:30am to 3:30pm with lunch provided Place: Stevenage Cost: £150 + VAT for Full members, and members of AMUSF Find out what the course will cover on our website.

The course will cover

– General purposes of advertising and legal status of an advert – Overview of the legal and regulatory framework – Pricing advertising – Specific examples and how the legislative and regulatory framework applies to them

Why attend?

– Perform better in your current job – Understand current legislation relating to pricing in practical terms – Ensure compliance with relevant legislation 

Principles of consumer law & understanding upholstery complaints

This course is designed to equip delegates with all the information necessary to ensure that they are confident in their understanding of consumer legislation, and to aid them in their understanding of the issues surrounding upholstery complaints. The course draws from the experience of The Ombudsman in handling thousands of upholstery complaints and disputes.

This will next be on:

19 October 2017

Time: 9:30am to 3:30pm with lunch provided Place: Stevenage Cost: £150 + VAT for Full members, and members of AMUSF Find out what the course will cover on our website. 

Two-day accredited City & Guilds training

The course is designed to cover the legal and regulatory framework, including key legislation that must be considered in relation to pricing, self-regulation including CAP and BCAP codes, and the role of regulatory bodies within the consumer landscape.

Whilst first day covers legalities, the second day is designed around behaviour and dealing with complaints. Upon completion of this course, all delegates receive a City & Guilds accreditation provided they pass a validation.

This will next be on:

11, 12 July 2017

7, 8 November 2017

Time: 9:30am to 3:30pm with lunch provided Place: Stevenage Cost: £450 + VAT for Full members, and members of AMUSF Find out what the course will cover on our website.

New Board members for the AMUSF

At the AGM held in October we were delighted to welcome Louise Boyland of Shoreditch Design Rooms and Maureen Whitemore of Whitemore and Thwaytes as newly elected members of the board. They filled the vacancies left by the retirement from the board of Des Fanning and Robbie Richardson who both served with distinction for many years.

mwsmall-002Maureen Whitemore  (left) and Louise Boyland (right)            louise-boyland