News Manufacturers and trade associations work towards new engineering qualifications
New qualifications for service engineers are to be launched
AMICA, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association (WTA) are working together to create a nationally recognized qualification for domestic refrigeration service engineers. Concerned by the lack of formal qualification in the domestic refrigeration market, the WTA approached Lynton Perry, a City & Guilds assessor, to develop a nationally recognized qualification. It was unveiled to a group of 300 domestic white goods engineers at the annual WTA conference held in Coventry in February. Lynton Perry, the engineer author of the proposed qualification, explains: “The refrigeration industry, in general, has failed to recognise the role of the domestic refrigeration service engineer within the qualification structures previously available from a
number of awarding bodies.” He also argued that such qualifications were essential as refrigeration service engineers work with explosive and highly flammable refrigerants and a nationally recognised qualification is vital from a commercial and safety perspective.
Meanwhile DASA (The Domestic Appliance Service Association) has been working with HEEST (the Household & Electronic Servicing Training Forum) which incorporates manufacturers, associations, colleges and awarding bodies to develop a recognized qualifications for engineers working with major kitchen appliances. The Association has confirmed that the New Electrical Appliance qualification will be
completed by April 2012 and the Consumer Electronics qualification by July 2012.
The CBI’s quarterly Distributive Trades Survey, conducted over the first two weeks of February, revealed that 34% of retailers reported an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February and 36% said they had seen a reduction. The resulting balance of -2% represents an improvement on last month’s survey (-22%). Fortunes were mixed among retail sectors, with grocers reporting significant increases in their volume of sales (a balance of +55%), and non-store retailers (online and mail order) recording +71%. Sales of durable household goods (-100%), and hardware and DIY (-90%), continued to fall rapidly.
This would mean that there would be no gap between the old and the new qualifications. Steve Debeger, DASA chairman, comments: “DASA welcomes any qualification that helps to demonstrate competence in the repair of home appliances to give consumers a benchmark for peace of mind when inviting engineers into their homes to perform a repair.”
Pure unveils its new brand identity CE manufacturer celebrates its tenth anniversary with new branding
AS part of its tenth anniversary, Pure is introducing a colourful new brand identity to celebrate the company’s design heritage and the rich content of its products. Paul Smith, Pure’s general manager says: “In the
past ten years, Pure has evolved from a relatively niche UK radio manufacturer, to an internationally recognised consumer electronics brand. To launch Pure into its next decade, we felt it was time to take the brand to the next level, building on our strengths from the past ten years but also reflecting the exciting
future ahead.” The new brand identity
will lead to a fresher representation in-store with new eye-catching brochures and packaging that will stand out on the shelf. The manufacturer is also introducing a space efficient suite of modular PoS material, which can be used with all Pure products as the relevant product information cards can be slotted in depending on the product on display. Retailers can contact their regional Pure sales executive for more information.
Accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth is urging retailers to be aware of looming changes to payroll law. HMRC is trialling a new system called Real Time Information (RTI) to improve the operation of Pay As You Earn (PAYE). The current system allows employers to issue PAYE information at payroll year end. The new RTI system will require firms to send this PAYE data, including National Insurance contributions and students loans, to HMRC every time they pay an employee.
UK vacancy rates on the high street have stabilised at 14.3%, equating to around 48,000 empty shops across the country, but the already substantial gap between the strongest and weakest retail centres is becoming wider, according a new report from industry analysts the Local Data Company.
New survey by PwC and the Local Data Company has revealed that multiple retailers closed 14 stores a day on average across the UK in 2011. From a net increase in 2009 of 1.2%, multiple retailers reduced their high street presence by 0.25% in 2011 – a reduction of 174 shops. Bookshops, electrical, home furnishing, menswear, and off-licence stores were the hardest hit, with all seeing falling numbers. In contrast, charity shops, pound shops, shoe shops, bakers, credit unions, supermarkets and convenience stores all showed growth during the year.
March 2012 The Independent Electrical Retailer 5
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