Ministry of Furniture creates eight new jobs despite challenges of COVID

Ministry of Furniture, the company which emerged from Wales’ Remploy Furniture in 2014, has made a significant investment in its workforce creating eight new positions at the firm despite the ongoing challenges and economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

The new appointments, which span sales, marketing, business development and production, represent a welcome boost for the area of Neath-Port Talbot at a time when unemployment is increasing in many other areas of the economy.

In contrast to many other companies in its sector, Ministry successfully realigned its business in 2020 moving to produce personal protective equipment and protective screens to help its clients manage the challenges of COVID-19. This shift helped it protect its workforce last year.

Now, it is eyeing growth and diversification in line with its values and aims as a company in 2021 – and is investing in the people, systems and skills to allow it to leverage that. This also includes anticipated growth in the construction and education sectors over the next 12 months.

The five individuals that have joined the firm are: Lucy Davies, Group Strategic Marketing Manager; Eden Morgan, Trainee Recruitment Consultant; Britanni Jones, Trainee Supply Chain Coordinator; and James Jones and Tom Williams, both Trainee Production Operators.

There have been three internal promotions.

Caroline Locke has been promoted to Group Sales Director. Locke has more than 25 years’ experience in the recruitment industry and 20 years within construction recruitment, having previously worked at Hays for 10 years. She is a co-founder of the Ministry People business and now been appointed to Sales Director for Ministry Group representing Furniture, People and Graphics.

Genella Cosslett has been with Ministry since 2017 running the Customer Service & Supplier Relations team. She is now Business Development Manager. Leanne Hirst, a founder member of the Ministry of Furniture Business in 2014, has over 25 years’ experience in the FF&E and contract interiors sector. She is appointed to the position of Customer Relations Manager at Ministry Group.

Lucy Davies joined Ministry as Group Strategic Marketing Manager in November 2020 following almost 15 years at contract furniture specialist BOF in Bridgend. She is now responsible for marketing strategy and communications for Ministry of Furniture, Ministry People and Ministry Graphics.

Jones and Williams boost the team in the company’s Swansea Valley factory ahead of an anticipated uplift in demand.

Having realigned the company’s working practices and offering in the past 12 months, it now offers clients a seamless journey the timeline of a big project – from concept to completion. Its offering moves from recruitment to external signage to fitted furniture to loose furniture to wall art and signage. In Wales, as a framework supplier for The National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales, it can offer its suite of services to all public sector bodies.

Graham Hirst, Group CEO Ministry Group, said: “We successfully adjusted and repurposed our offering and products to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19, and we now embark on a new chapter in our history. Especially through such challenging times, we are delighted to be able to create jobs and support the Welsh economy in this way.”

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