UK service men and women from the Army, Navy and RAF may now qualify for a grant of £1,000 to £2,000 towards their Chippendale International School of Furniture fees, because the Furniture School is now an Approved Learning Provider under the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC) Scheme.
“I’m looking forward to inviting more retired or redundant members of the Armed Forces onto our 9 month furniture making course,” says Anselm Fraser, the Furniture School Principal.
“Our course is very practical and is particularly geared towards setting up furniture making businesses so it opens up serious options for new careers. Many students use our course to set up their own furniture businesses, and some stay on after graduation, basing themselves in our Chippendale Incubation Centre. This helps get their new businesses off the ground on low cost rents while they continue to benefit from our facilities, support and guidance.”
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Harnby, a recently retired army officer, is one of the Chippendale School of Furniture’s current students. He describes how he heard of the furniture making course:
“A friend and neighbour, Stuart Janion, was a student at the School about 8 years ago and he thoroughly enjoyed doing the projects he undertook.
“Having spent nearly 30 years as a soldier, the idea of making and designing furniture offered some new and exciting challenges.”
Guy outlined his longer term ambitions:
“I have spent the past year actively involved in the Casualty Management area of wounded soldiers returning from the conflict in Afghanistan, and in the recovery of injured and sick soldiers. I have set up a charity called Wood for Wounded with a view to establishing a furniture school in the Lake District in 17 months time.
“I want to get involved in reintegrating sick, injured and wounded soldiers into society through the medium of wood and furniture making, and have a number of ideas to take the idea forward in the next 5 years!”
All UK Armed Forces recruits can register for the Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme during their first year of service, or between eight and eight and a half years after joining the forces. Before being allowed to make an ELC claim at the lower level (of up to £1,000), an individual must have had at least four years’ service. He or she must have completed a minimum of eight years’ service before being able to claim at the higher rate (of up to £2,000). Claims can be made up to ten years after leaving the Services.
Only one ELC claim can be made in any one financial year (April to March). Individuals must pay for at least 20% of the cost of the course. The ELC element excludes travel, accommodation, food, books and materials.
Call the School on (44) 0 1620 810680 or go to the Enhanced Learning Credits website for more details on the application process. A full explanation of ELC is also given in the Joint Service Publication (JSP) 898, Part 4, Chapter 3.