Job Description

We are looking to recruit apprentice furniture-makers who will start their training in September 2022. Potential applicants are encouraged to arrange a visit to the Barnsley Workshop to meet the craftsman-tutor and current apprentices.


Our apprenticeship scheme, which is supported by the Edward Barnsley Educational Trust, aims to help people who have already made enough furniture to know that they want a career making furniture of the highest quality. The training scheme is not aimed at complete beginners. All training takes place in the Barnsley Workshop. There is no day or block release to a college. Our apprentices work alongside experienced craftsmen and learn how to achieve the high standards of the Barnsley Workshop. Apprentices are taught a wide range of hand and wood-machining skills. Apprentices begin by making set pieces entirely by hand, guided by our craftsman-tutor. Apprentice work is sold from the Barnsley Workshop showroom. In due course, apprentices with more experience work on larger pieces of furniture commissioned by the workshop’s clients.


We operate a rigorous selection process to identify the most promising applicants. Applicants should have already made at least a few pieces of furniture. Apprentices train with us for a year. Some stay on for a second or third year of training. At the end of their training, we help our apprentices find employment in other workshops. With their skills and experience, our apprentices are much in demand. We frequently receive enquiries from other workshops seeking to recruit Barnsley-trained apprentices. This thorough and comprehensive training teaches the skills needed to succeed as a professional furniture-maker. 


Working Hours

The vacancy is for a one-year, full-time position. The employee will work 40 hours each week. 



National Minimum Wage Apprenticeship Rate. Currently £4.81 per hour. 


Apprentice Profile 

We are looking for applicants who can:

  • Show us they are keen to establish a career in furniture-making.
  • Demonstrate they have some natural ability as a furniture-maker in wood.
  • Show they have a good attention to detail.
  • Show us some examples of their work made to a reasonable standard. We like applicants to bring work in, but understand this may not be practical. Photographs of work are the alternative.


Apprentices will:

  • Receive training in all aspects of Barnsley Workshop furniture construction techniques.
  • Spend the majority of their time at their own workbench.
  • Work on individual jobs from start to finish.
  • Make wooden furniture of increasing complexity.
  • Assist other craftsmen and apprentices with their jobs.
  • Help keep the workshop clean and tidy.
  • Carry out minor maintenance work in the workshop.
  • Assist at Barnsley Workshop open days and other exhibitions.


 Application Process

Contact craftsman-tutor Stephen Rock at the Barnsley Workshop to register initial interest, by 9 May. Visit Workshop and show work and submit application form (download from our website) by 20 May.


Workshop Heritage

Our internationally renowned Hampshire workshop was established by Edward Barnsley in 1923. Important commissions undertaken by the Edward Barnsley Workshop have included furniture for the Palace of Westminster and Canterbury Cathedral.

April 27, 2022