ECONOMY

Carpentry and furniture skills taking graduates straight into job market

Nine in 10 graduates from the Technical & Vocational Institute’s (TEI) Carpentry and Furniture Design and Technology Department can nowadays find immediate employment, while the vast majority of firms operating in the industry have a hard time recruiting the skilled staff required for a number of positions. The data were revealed and discussed during a one-day meeting organized recently by the Larissa TEI’s Department of Carpentry and Furniture Design and Technology, with attendants including TEI lecturers and industry representatives. Carpentry and furniture graduates are in high demand by domestic and Cyprus-based wood businesses, and the upward trend is forecast to remain at high levels for at least the next 20 years or so. However, the industry also requires highly qualified executives. Needs in the sector are expected to increase in a broad array of specialties, including product promotion, quality control, new product design, production control, CNC machinery programming, furniture technology, sales, production planning and organization, costing and warehouse management. Most speakers addressing the meeting expressed consensus on the fact that carpentry businesses and furniture manufacturers are in need of highly responsible and committed personnel. Addressing the meeting, Larissa TEI professor Dr Sotirios Karastergiou told participants that 80 percent of the department’s graduates are currently employed, with 44 percent of them working in design, 25 percent in manufacturing and the rest in various other wood industry areas. Karastergiou also stressed that 95 percent of graduates had no problem getting a job. Quoting the findings of a recent survey, he added that most of them stated they are satisfied with their current position. Unemployed graduates remain out of work for less than a year, while the majority are able to find a position close to their place of residence.