A Warwickshire businessman who has made works for the Royal household has warned a lack of new recruits could spell the end for Britain's furniture industry.
Neil Stevenson is hoping a last ditch attempt to launch a new regional structure will attract young people into the industry before it is too late.
Mr Stevenson, who is managing director of NEJ Stevenson, wants to see businesses, schools and regional development agencies work together to create a new model to attract people to the sector and equip them with the right skills.
He said many small companies like his own often do not have the resources to employ young people without rudimentary skills which used to be taught in school.
His company, which employs 23 at its base in Church Lawford, has produced occasional tables, fitted wardrobes for the Royal family and well as taking part in the refurbishment of Windsor Castle.
Mr Stevenson was particular critical of a failure by Advantage West Midlands to help.
He said AWM approached a group of prominent regional furniture-makers to see what could be done to reverse the decline in the fortunes of an industry worth #1.6 billion in the Midlands alone.
"Furniture West Midlands was born, but three years down the line, recommendations put forward for funding as requested have brought next to no cash to tackle the problem."
Mr Stevenson, whose company holds a royal warrant for its work with the Royal Household and also regularly works with clients like the National Trust and English Heritage, is spearheading a push for the introduction of a 'hub and cluster' system which he hopes will get people on the right track.
"It is a last ditch attempt and if this gets no positive response, then I fear the worst. The trades we are talking about tend to be clustered in certain areas.
"We need to get them working together and with a local school in the area to support young people coming through.
"We can offer expertise, funding and advice to the schools which can advertise the fact they have the backing of these trades, and so attract young people who are more interested in practical, hands-on classes than purely theoretical ones.
"The schools can offer woodworking classes, and other practical lessons not currently prominent on the timetable, creating a swell of young people with an interest in the industry and who have the basic skills which are attractive to potential employers."
Mr Stevenson founded the company in 1984 when he decided he wanted to be a cabinet maker while still at school.
He borrowed #1,000 from his father to set up a workshop in the garage of the family home.
The company now has annual turnover of #1.2 million while Mr Stevenson has long promoted the furniture industry through his roles as a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, director of the Furniture, Furnishings, Interiors National Training Organisation (FFINTO), and chairman of training and education for Furniture West Midlands.
A spokesman for AWM said the agency would be holding a meeting with Mr Stevenson.