The Senator Group at Skills England with UKFT
The Senator Group was founded in 1976, when Chairman Colin Mustoe began designing and manufacturing office furniture. In the early days he would even build and deliver the products to customers himself. The firm, which has its headquarters in Accrington in Lancashire, has now grown into one of the largest office furniture manufacturers in the world but remains an independent, family-owned business.
Read on to find out why The Senator Group believes manufacturing is its secret weapon, what an apprentice does on a day-to-day basis and for current opportunities for apprentices within the group.
The Sentator Group says:
“Our desire to deliver better quality to our clients means we invest in unique digital manufacturing technology. Laser technology bonds edges that improves board durability. Robotic gluing arms create a stronger bond between fabric and moulded foam seats. Large beam stitching allows a wider range of fabrics.
Robotic lacquer spraying gives a precise and consistent colour was finish. Our innovative digital controlled machinery increases yield of materials and reduces environmental impact of the materials consumed in manufacture. By investing in our own manufacturing, we create more cost effective furniture that we can produce in quicker lead times.
Innovation is not only in our product, it is in our design, manufacture, services and we constantly look to enhance and improve, for a better customer experience. Innovation comes from every one of our employees. Bright Ideas is our company-wide incentive ideas scheme, where everyone can contribute to the correct things that we should be doing, like wrapping the furniture in clear, rather than obscure plastic to encourage less transit damage. In our factories we have over 20 employees working in continuous improvement and a further 15 employees working in our quality teams.”
Meet the Apprentice
Name: Jordan Pilkington
Apprenticeship: Furniture Manufacturer (Modern Upholsterer) Level 2 – qualified in 2019
What do you enjoy most about your job role?
I enjoy learning new and different models and having the job satisfaction that the piece of work I have completed has been made to the required standard.
What attracted you to The Senator Group?
The working environment is clean, organised and well kept. The pay is very attractive for an apprentice and I believed upholstery would be a good trade to learn.
What have you benefited most from?
There is a wealth of experience in the organisation, therefore talking to others, and being able to ask for help and being provided with good, one to one training.
How have you developed in your role?
I’ve gained knowledge in upholstery methods, how to produce better quality products and over time more quantity whilst still retaining a good quality of work. I have also found that my confidence has grown over this time.
What key skills and characteristics are needed to shine at The Senator Group?
I would advise having a good mind-set, to be positive and sensible. And to be willing to learn and push yourself to be the best you can be.
What advice would you give to anyone joining the Apprentice programme?
To not be scared to ask for help and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, learn from them and improve. You can learn a lot from talking to new people. And to aim high.
Find out more about The Senator Group here.