Thursday 12th October 2023
Showground, Wadebridge

From Packing to Managing, Apprentice Makes Mark in Furniture Design

A talented furniture design apprentice is celebrating her rise from packer to workshop manager for one of the UK’s leading and 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.”

Safia was given the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship through Cornwall College whilst working for Tom Raffield, an award-winning company that 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!

Founder of the company and designer 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 continued.

“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.”

Safia also competed in the SkillBuild UK National Final at the NEC in Birmingham at the end of last year, coming home with a bronze award in the Cabinet-Making section. The largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices, The Skills Show saw 82 construction competitors from across the country battle for the top spot in ten disciplines.

Safia said the event was “amazing”, despite being “quite scared about competing”

“As soon as I got there I relaxed and really enjoyed the competition,” she explained.

“It was a great confidence builder, and it was nice to meet the other competitors who I have so much in common with. I’d definitely encourage other apprentices to enter if they get the opportunity.”

To find out more, contact CCB’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Team on 0330 123 4785 or email Check out CCB’s website for information on the benefits of taking on an apprentice or visit TCCG website to view current vacancies