Wood School Assistant

[job title pending]

Sylva Foundation wants to recruit an exceptional individual to join its Wood School team based at the Sylva Wood Centre. Since launching the Wood School in 2019, it has gone from strength to strength. The Wood School plays a central role in Sylva's mission; nurturing a wood culture, growing a future. We are active in delivering the training and education necessary to support the transformation of society, focussing on the stewardship of our forests and the utility of home-grown timber. We also undertake advocacy to inspire one another, raise awareness, and endow people with knowledge, passion, and the shared ambition for a better and more sustainable society.

We are looking for someone who can help us in our work, and who is passionate about teaching furniture making to the highest professional standards appropriate for the many jobs in the industry.

You will have several years of industry experience with a knowledge and experience of:
  • Workshop management/organisation
  • Hand-skills and veneering
  • Small volume batch production
  • Use of woodworking machinery
  • Maintenance of machinery and equipment
  • Ordering materials, equipment and outsourcing
We are particularly keen to hear from you if you have previous experience supporting learning or teaching furniture making in an educational setting.

Your workshop experience and professional practice should be complemented by excellent communication skills and a desire to share knowledge with others.Your interpersonal skills will help us to develop our learning community making it accessible to all. We expect you to lead by example, helping our students to create and maintain a safe and clean working environment.

The role will initially be focussed on supporting our Head of Wood School in the development, management, and delivery of our wide range of courses and activities including: short courses, summer schools, introductory (three-month) and professional (six-month) courses. We hope that in time it will involve you taking the lead in sessions and courses that reflect your skills and interests. Core hours will be Monday to Friday however we hope you can be flexible to deliver occasional weekend sessions.

Additionally you will support Sylva Foundation in the development and management of our shared start-up workshops. Our Potato Store workshops host 14 micro businesses who have access to our shared workspaces and resources. We would like to support our tenants by enhancing this professional working environment. You will have the opportunity to shape the future of our shared spaces.

Essential skills and experience:

  • Proven furniture making experience 5 years+
  • Experience of workshop management/organisation
  • Experience of teaching or supporting learning in a relevant setting
  • Excellent communication skills and a willingness to share your knowledge

Desirable skills and experience:

  • Maintenance of woodworking machinery
  • Business development skills
  • Good planning and organisational skills
  • Collaborative working internally and externally
  • Capability to support business start-ups
  • Interest in the environment, sustainability, and home-grown timber


You will become a valued member of the small team working for Sylva Foundation and enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Unrivalled opportunities to gain experience working with industry bodies, major manufacturing companies, influential NGOs, and others.
  • Competitive starting salary.
  • Generous pension contribution.
  • A flexible and supportive working environment.
  • Support in your personal training and development.
  • Contribution towards professional membership fees.
  • Based at the Sylva Wood Centre in glorious countryside, surrounded by wood-using businesses.
Deadline for applications Sunday 13th February 2022
Interviews (in person at the Wood Centre): Thursday 24th February 2022
Job start (negotiable): Spring/summer 2022