NEJ Stevenson

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Roger C

00:00:03 My name is Roger and my job title is Fitter. An example of the type of thing that we fit is ranging from wardrobes to bathrooms, kitchens, free-standing furniture. I’ve done that for this company for approximately ten years now. It’s been very interesting and very rewarding and I really enjoy my work.

00:00:29 The most memorable jobs are the ones that I’ve done abroad. I worked in New York on an apartment for two months and really enjoyed that. We were up on the 38th floor of this apartment building and it took me nearly a week just to go to look over the edge. I was so frightened.

00:00:48 My school days were a bit fraught. I had an ear infection when I was two years old and I was deemed to be a bit stupid. I was always put at the back of the class. On my last year at school, one of the teachers decided to put me in the front of the class with another person that was good at maths and my maths exam result went through the roof. I went straight up to about 75 out of a 100 because somebody cared to take note of my particular problem which I’d never thought was a problem. I always thought I was stupid.

00:01:28 Prior to leaving school, we had two woodwork teachers. One said, pardon the expression, as long as you’ve got a hole in your backside, you’ll never be a carpenter and the other one said that I would make a marvellous carpenter. So I decided that I would go and become a carpenter to prove the other one wrong and I think I have, and I think he’s dead now and I can’t tell him!

00:01:55 I left school with no qualifications. I became an apprentice to a local joinery company and the policy of the company that I worked for was when you finish your apprenticeship, you were sent on your way to find your way in the world. When I finished that, I was very, very concerned what I was going to do with the rest of my life. But I plucked up courage so off I went, got myself another job.

00:02:20 Found another joinery company in Rugby and after two weeks, I proved my worth, they put me onto more money and within two years, I became manager of that company.

00:02:33 I made a conscious decision that I wanted to go and do kitchen fitting so I decided that I would go self-employed. That…I did that for about 30 years and then I came to become a cabinetmaker of all things.

00:02:49 There were becoming restrictions on the fitted kitchen side and you had to go down the line of getting exams to be able to do the electrics and I just didn’t want to go down that line. I decided to call it a day and try something else.

00:03:05 The only regrets that I do have is when I was self-employed, I was earning a rather a lot more money than what I am now but I’m sure that you won’t want to put that in there.

00:03:16 My father worked with his father and I always wanted to work my son and that did happen eventually and he worked for me for about ten years and then he decided he wanted to branch out on his own which was a bit disappointing at the time. It became clear that it was probably the best thing that he could have ever down, was for him to be able to stand on his own two feet.

00:03:41 The fun side of my life is my holidays. I would like to go and move to Spain and settle down there for what little time I’ve got left. My last two houses that I’ve bought were total wrecks and I bought them very cheap because they needed doing up. The plan is to do very much the same in Spain, to do it up and move in and settle down and be happy ever after! END

Roger C is a Fitter at NEJ Stephenson who make special furniture. He has fitted furniture in a 38th floor apartment in New York. He has done woodwork since leaving school. He ran his own business fitting kitchens for 30 years but now enjoys the interesting work he is doing.

More information about Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers make, repair and restore wooden furniture, decorative objects and other crafted pieces of woodwork.
There are no formal entry requirements, although entrants typically possess a variety of academic and vocational qualifications. Training is provided off- and on-the-job. A number of NVQs/SVQs and other vocational qualifications covering various aspects of furniture production and wood machining are available at various levels. Apprenticeships in Cabinet Making are available in some areas.
  • Examines drawings and specifications to determine job requirements and appropriate materials;
  • Selects, measures, cuts and shapes wood using saws, chisels, planes, powered hand tools and woodworking machines;
  • Assembles parts with crafted joints, nails, screws, dowels or adhesives and fits locks, catches, hinges, castors, drawers, shelves and other fittings;
  • Removes, replaces or repairs damaged parts of wooden furniture;
  • Measures floor area to be covered and lays wood blocks, parquet panels or hardwood strips;
  • Matches and marks out veneers ready for cutting and examines and repairs defects in veneer or plywood sheets.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Furniture 9521
Specialised construction 7103
Construction 5320
Wood, etc 3785
Other manufacturing 2975
Retail trade 1727
Employment status

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