The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance – FIESTA – of which Achieve+Partners is a strategic 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 and memner of FIESTA 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

We are excited to be supporting FIESTA to help employers to access the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

In addition, businesses taking on a Kickstart candidate can apply for £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

FIESTA can support employers to access the scheme

Download the FIESTA Kickstart brochure

Download the expression of interest form

Find out more about the scheme.

Joe Cordingley an apprentice cabinet maker at my fathers heart is celebrating after achieving a distinction in his Level 2 Furniture Manufacturer apprenticeship with Achieve+Partners.

Joe who is now a full time employee studied his apprenticeship with The North Lancs Training Group.

Joe really appreciated developing his skills alongside some of the country’s best cabinet makers. Joe said

‘Being around experienced craftsmen every day has helped me achieve a high standard of work. Over the time I’ve been at my fathers heart, I’ve picked up loads of techniques from the team that have improved my workflow and overall understanding. I’m glad to be at my fathers heart where I am constantly encouraged to reach perfection.’

Jonathan Coulthard, my fathers heart owner, commented

‘Joe, we’re very proud of you. That’s a fantastic effort. Well done!’

We would like to announce that Achieve+Partners have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve. It says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and
not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives. This includes offering injured servicemen and women and bereaved families extra support where appropriate.

Achieve and Partners Limited will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

Achieve+Partners has signed up to the Covenant as we recognise the commitment the personnel within the Armed Forces, past and present, have and continue to give and we wish to support them in any way we can.

You can view our signed document and find out more about The Armed Forces Covenant by clicking these links.

Proudly supporting those who serve.

In a special press event held on 19th January, The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) announced Quooker as the latest industry brand to support the organisation, with a specific focus on accelerating plans for work on the kitchen, bedroom & bathroom installation Apprenticeship initiative.

The six-figure investment from Quooker, the first instalment of a three-year package of support for BiKBBI, will drive the institute towards delivering the first phase of what it calls ‘Operation Next-Gen’ – the promotion of kbb Apprenticeship opportunities to the next generation – predominantly secondary school students in years 9-11.

Quooker (UK) Managing Director Stephen Johnson (pictured) spoke at the event and said, “We’ve undergone some of the toughest trading conditions our industry has ever faced. At Quooker we too have felt the strain of this crisis. We’ve seen first-hand how its affected smaller independent retailers and how changing consumer habits have dramatically impacted sales. However, during these difficult times, brands are faced with two choices – to shrivel up and remain inward focused, or to work together, sharing expertise, resources and help the industry rebuild, recover and thrive”.

In an emotional event that reviewed challenges faced by the industry and organisation over the last year, BiKBBI discussed its plans to open ten new Centres of Excellence regionally across England, ready for the delivery of KBB Fitted Interior Apprenticeships from September. The Institute will use the learnings and blueprint from their successful pilot of the scheme in the South East to roll the scheme out nationally.


CEO Damian Walters gave a heartfelt thanks to his team, members, partners and Corporate Sponsors, stating that “without them, we would not be in a position to support the industry as we are”. Walters went on to say: “No one else will fix the issue of building a future workforce on this scale and I call upon other brands to follow Quooker’s lead on this topic – We need more brands to get behind our efforts”.

Achieve+Partners are delighted to be supporting this initiative and helping the industry to review the apprenticeship standard and provide high quality end-point assessment services.

BiKBBI confirmed that it would keep the industry updated over the next few weeks, to include new retail relationships and a Director of Education that will lead the organisations L&D strategy moving forward.

Exciting times at BiKBBI and much needed change now in full swing.

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