Closing the Skills Gap Northern Conference

In April FIESTA ran its first Closing the Skills Gap conference in London ( and on the 2nd July, we will be running a second event for northern based manufacturers and this will take place at the Panaz showroom in Burnley.

“Companies in industry must use UK training providers or risk losing them.” That was the warning Gary Baker, Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) chairman, issued to delegates at the London Closing the Gap conference last month.

Since the Bridging the Gap conference in 2017, the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance has been working towards a solution that will enable furniture and interiors businesses of all sizes to easily train and recruit employees for all job functions.

Furniture and Interiors Skills Plus is a new service that will provide employers in our sector with access to a wide variety of funded training programmes for apprentices and the upskilling of existing staff.

We will be presenting this solution to the northern based industry in July and we would like to see you there!

Location: Panaz, Bentley Wood Way, Hapton, Burnley BB11 5ST

Conference Programme

10.30am – 11.00am – Registration

11.00am – 11.20am – Welcome and review of the current situation since the publication of the Mind the Gap report in 2015. Gary Baker, managing director of CD (UK) Ltd and chairman of FIESTA.

11.20am – 12.00pm – Apprenticeships do work for employers an industry panel discussion exploring the myths, challenges and benefits for employers in recruiting and developing apprentices.

12.00pm – 12.30pm – The Skills Plus Solution. John Henry, managing director of the Apprentice Management Group, and Martin James, commercial director of Didac.

12.30pm – 1.00pm – Open Q&A session led by Gary Baker.

1.00pm – 2pm – Delegate 121s with Skills Plus, lunch and networking.

For more information and to book your place :

This is a free event and the tickets include refreshments and a buffet lunch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *