Hi Kell, welcome to my world. I've been looking and talking to people for about the past 6 months trying to find employment or apprenticeships.
And my finding won't be what you want to hear. Firstly almost every furniture maker or cabinet maker that i've spoken to don't recognise qualifications or have much respect for them.
The only places that would take someone on as an apprentice or as a graduate of the city and guilds course was some faceless factory in nottingham somewhere at minimum wage working on an assembly line.
It seems to me there are really on two options:
1. Fund your own training, build up some portfolio work and trawl all the local companies and hope they are willing to take someone on.
2. Build up your skill levels and go freelance.
I have had to shelve my idea's of doing cabinet/furntiure making for a living and instead i'm looking into joinery as there are more openings for new-comers and more companies willing to train you up.
As for courses, I can't recommened Bruce Luckhursts cabinet making courses more highly. They'll get you up to speed on tool technology, how to use and sharpen you tools correctly, do the basics and learn important joining techniques, his course will also give you an insight into the industry as he has been doing it almost as long as Noah. I have written a mini-review in one of my other threads ('Of to Ashford I go').
The construction industry training board may help you ( C.I.T.B ) i have a number somewhere for them but a google search should turn something up . They fund your training and offer you a list of employers , at least they did when i trained as a carpenter and joiner and my apprentice . Good luck
The company I work for take on apprentices. Not so much lately but when I first started they they would have maybe 2 or 3 at any one time. (Cabinet makers and polishers) They go to collage for 1 day a week. I have to say I don't know many other companies that do. Its a shame. One of the big problems is they finish their apprenticeships then leave I think this really puts of a lot of company's.
I kinda agree with ByronBlack when he says that most don't recognisee qualifications or have much respect for them. Its the expreriance that they are after.
There is the Rycotewood Furniture Centre now at Oxford and Cherwell College in Oxford.
I'm doing the City and Guilds in Furniture Production but they also do full time courses and apprenticeship training.
As for finding work, i've found that more difficult. Most smaller companies will hire experienced workers only , trainees aren't worth the effort it seems and if they do they'll be proper apprentices ie under 21s