Falkus Joinery partner with TCF

We are happy to announce that we have recently agreed a new partnership with Shoreditch-based Falkus Joinery to provide work experience, apprenticeships, and potentially permanent job offers for our East London based young people taking part primarily in Street Elite and London Futures programmes. We caught up with their Commercial Director recently and had a good chat…

“I‘m really keen to get started with the Change Foundation”. It’s almost the first thing that Will Burn, Commercial Director at Falkus Joinery, says to me as we speak on the phone on a busy Thursday afternoon. I can immediately tell that he is all about action and progression, values we share at TCF. He is also very patient and he shows no sign of needing to rush away during our conversation, giving me plenty of time to go through my questions,  whilst sharing a few stories along the way.  He has a relaxed attitude but is focused, and perhaps that explains why Falkus and TCF are a good fit.

Falkus Joinery is our newest partner, meaning young people from our Street Elite and London Futures programmes running in East London will get the opportunity for work experience, apprenticeships, and potentially permanent job offers with them over the coming years.  Falkus provide a wide range of bespoke joinery from volume commercial joinery to intricate fine polished pieces. They work for a variety of different clients; large and small on commercial, residential, and specialist bespoke projects.

Although established for over 100 years, the company is young at heart, so much so that when completing a large commercial project recently, the average age of those involved turned out to be just 23 years. They put a real focus on bringing on young people and retaining staff, ensuring everyone feels part of the team. Falkus is keen to work with those living locally in East London, where the workshop is based. They would like to encourage local young talent into this specialist trade and with so much construction happening in London, and the construction industry as a whole, they have never been busier.

Will Burn first heard about TCF when he was invited by The Pantera Group, to a wine tasting event hosted by the TCF & Berkeley Homes​ to raise money for projects including our Street Elite programme.  During the evening he heard Street Elite graduate and current Berkeley employee Irfan talking: “I saw motivation. I liked it and that is what I want here.” He was also attracted by the success rate of Street Elite.  “Most colleges have a 30% success rate with their work programmes but Street Elite is 80%, it shows that it is working.” We like to think so Will. In addition, Falkus, as a small organisation with 25 employees, can offer a high level of 1-2-1 attention and anyone working there is not going to feel like an anonymous cog in a huge organisation. “People with us on work experience will see something through to the end, they will get a sense of achievement and evidence of what they have created.” Not every work experience placement can offer that, and as an experienced company, there are many different options for apprentices. “There are so many different career paths here, I want to get people into the office as well as the workshop floor… many of us don’t come from a joinery background”. Will then rattles off a huge variety of different careers, from intricate CAD design, to marketing, to pricing and many others. He places a lot of weight on Solidworks, the CAD programme that they use at Falkus.  He also says that it is becoming a career path in itself, having grown his team from one to four Solidworks programme users in the last 4 years.

The key for Falkus, and what is so attractive for our young people, is the business focus. “We need to be brutal but supportive and as such an apprentice needs to be contributing to live projects within 6 months.  That isn’t going to happen if they are making tea and sweeping the floor”, says Will. Everyone working at Falkus, from work experience to the management, is doing something with a purpose and contributing to the bottom line. He feels that the industry needs to wake up to the possibilities this brings, and that good people can be lost to the industry through poor experiences when they go into workshops, or on sites. The fact that apprentices are carrying their weight also brings them financial benefits Will says, “We want our employees to be able to enjoy working life, so apprentices earn a London Living Wage and those who progress well can expect pay reviews relative to their contribution”, which is not something that all companies provide.

We look forward to telling you more about how 2019 goes for our young people that spend time at Falkus Joinery, and forming a stronger and stronger bond over the coming years. If you would like to speak with Falkus Joinery about their services please contact Will Burn directly on 0207 749 4280.”