Skills shortage drives up wages in furniture industry, trade body claims

Pay is increasing for staff working in the furniture production industry, according to a recent survey from a national trade body.

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) carry out regular surveys on how much workers in the industry are paid. Its latest Wages Survey, published this month, found pay was rising in skilled roles.

The BFM believe this trend is due to a shortage of people available to take on skilled roles in the industry, which is driving up wages for experienced staff whose talents are in demand. This includes those working as upholsterers, cabinet makers and sewers.

The Wages Survey studies the levels of pay across 23 different jobs in the furniture industry, including those in product development, foremen and manual wood machinists. As well as pay, the study looks at standard hours, shift work, holiday entitlement and union recognition.

Sean Holt, managing director of the BFM, said: “Our survey information reveals, in this instance, a clear rise in wages for skilled jobs, which in our view is directly related to data around skilled labour shortages.”

In October, the Furniture Trade Survey, also carried out by the BFM, found more than three quarters (76 per cent) of those who responded to the poll were affected by a skills shortage in their organisation. And one in four said they were experiencing a significant or severe lack of staff.

Survey looks at trends and challenges

Mr Holt added: “BFM regularly surveys the industry on a number of topics as part of our work to provide insight to help our members identify emerging, relevant trends and challenges they may face in the future.”

AP+, which specialises in providing 3PL, storage and fulfilment solutions to the furniture and homeware industries, is a member of the BFM, which has acted as a voice for its members for more than 60 years.

Based in Adlington, Lancashire, AP+ saw a large increase in enquiries during 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both manufacturers and retailers were forced to look for somewhere to store their stock after lockdown restrictions saw both shops and warehouses close their doors.

Further issues with supply chains caused by increased customs paperwork in the wake of Brexit and a shortage of HGV drivers and warehousing space means that companies like AP+ which provide end-to-end 3PL solutions remain in high demand.

AP+ provides storage and distribution facilities for companies working in the furniture industry, picking and packing orders and making sure they are sent directly to customers in a timely and cost-effective way.

To find out more about the services AP+ offers, get in touch with the team today.

Catherine Byrom

Catherine Byrom

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