Apprentice makes an impression

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A talented furniture design apprentice is celebrating her rise from packer to workshop manager for one of the UK’s most innovative furniture designers.

Two years ago, Safia Megatli, 24 who lives in Falmouth, was keen to use her design skills, developed during her degree, in a more practical way.

“I enjoy learning and I wanted to take my design skills to the next level and get more involved with production,” Safia said.

“I always enjoyed the creative subjects at school and like making beautiful things which also have a function.”

She was given the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship through Cornwall College while working for Tom Raffield, an award-winning company which designs and makes a range of hand-made furniture and lighting by steam bending a variety of woods from its woodland workshop just outside of Helston.

“It’s such an interesting, fun place to work and I have learnt so much from the colleagues that I work with,” she continued.

“In my new role as workshop manager, I’m the link between the design team and the workshop guys, so I’m constantly looking at lead times, tools, materials and processes to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. It’s such a varied role, and I really enjoy being on the tools and getting to see the final products. There is nothing more satisfying than receiving emails and photos from satisfied customers of pieces that you’ve personally worked on.”

Designer and founder of the company, Tom Raffield, said Safia is “one of the many women leading the charge in what come sometimes feel like a male dominated design industry”.

“The energy that our apprentices have on the team is inspiring; providing new ideas and solutions, and bringing enthusiasm to the team,” he added.

“We’re extremely proud to be investing in local talent in Cornwall and building the next generation of skilled designers helping to put British design on the map.”