Jobs to Go| Furniture makers wanted

October 15, 2015

Bjorn Buke

The carpenter, or more specifically the furniture maker, is one who designs and assembles pieces of furniture such as the table, dresser, chest of draws or chair. Depending on his speciality, he may explore the option of restoring older pieces for those clients who are sentimentally attached.

THE STAR in its Jobs and Careers section this week sought to match employers to those looking for jobs. After searching the Gleaner classifieds for job postings, our news team caught up with the proprietor of a Kingston-based furniture making establishment who sought to fill the vacancies of 'furniture workers', especially "assemblers and sanders".

high employee turnover

The proprietor, who did not wish to identify himself by name, told THE STAR that for one reason or another, his establishment appears to have a high employee turnover rate. Typically, several new employees are asked to leave after a few weeks of work after it is discovered that they are not suitably skilled for the job.

"In a week of fortnight, we find out that they are not qualified to proceed past that so we just look again. So you can never say that you are comfortable," he said. "You give some of them a week or two and you see that they are not up to standard in terms of what is expected of them. So then you have to get rid of those and you get two more, that's how we do it."

While furniture is without doubt a permanent fixture in our lives as we use pieces daily without even giving it a second thought, rarely is any consideration given to those skilled person who craft them. The creative mind of a furniture maker dictates that the pieces should not only be that of the functional, but also pleasing to the eye to the liking of a client.

Being a furniture maker stipulates that the candidate must be one who can effectively consult with clients to get a sense of their tastes and needs. Following the consultations, the designing and feasibility of a piece must be sought and communicated before building. A discussion about materials is also one that should be explored by a professional in the field. After the final assembly, the final touches to treat the material, typically wood, must be undertaken in order to preserve the new piece.

As simple as the aforesaid appears, the proprietor told THE STAR that it is often discovered in his establishment that new workers may not make the grade as they have yet to master those skill sets.

Those interested in being a carpenter are often encouraged to explore apprenticeships to learn and hone their craft while on the job. Courses offered by the HEART Trust/NTA's Training Services in carpentry may be of assistance to those who are desirous of first getting down the basics before plunging head-first into the field.

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