Upholstery Sewing Machinist – A dying profession ?

Forest sofa is proud to be able to provide a commercial and competitive range of upholstered seating solutions with our full range manufactured in Manchester, England.

Whilst proud to employ over 50 local staff, we are challenged by the apparent lack of skilled workers in the field of Upholstery Sewing / Machinist as well as Deep Buttoned Upholsterers.

Upholstery Manufacture in the North of England was a significant contributor to the UK’s Manufacturing output as recently as 20 years ago. Increasingly UK Manufacturers have switched their own production from sites in the UK to the Middle East or Eastern Europe, or have been forced out of Manufacturing all together. Some UK manufacturers have adopted a mix mode approach, offering a limited range from their UK factory, but producing the majority of the range overseas, at the expense of local workings. Workers in Preston were affected significantly in recent years by one well known manufacturer moving it’s production to maintain margin and remain competitive.

Forest Sofa Ltd is pleased to be one of the few UK Manufacturers that are able to grow in this challenging economic climate, and can do so by offering a good quality UK sofa at a fair price. “It’s no about being the cheapest when times are hard, it’s value that families are looking for.” Whilst Forest 2012 sales continue to impress and exceed expectations, the business is challenged in it’s growth by the apparent lack of skilled upholstery workers in the Manchester area. The downturn in local skills in manufacturing in general is as a result of the change in the manufacturing landscape in the UK and the North of England, a consequence of the effects of increased imports.

Chesterfield Sofas are a true British product that requires craft, skill and guile, the traits often past down through families from generation to generation is slowly being eroded through a period of short time working and years of disillusion. Getting skilled staff back into UK manufacturing is a challenge for Forest Sofa, but also many other UK manufacturers attempting to grow their business. The reach and search for the recruitment for the positions of Upholstery Machinist and Deep Buttoned Upholsterers is becoming wider, with adverts currently placed in the Bolton, Bury, Accrington and Macclesfield press.

Agencies propose a solution to the shortage, regrettably however often with workers based outside the UK.

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