NEWS | Round-up

Have your say on TKET’s new apprenticeship

THE KITCHEN Education Trust (TKET) has been given the green light to develop a new Living and Commercial Spaces Designer Apprenticeship – and it is asking for your views.

Having gained approval from the Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education, TKET’s new degree apprenticeship, once complete, will be supported by the Government’s apprenticeship scheme for universities to roll out across England. Employers in the industry, with the support of TKET, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA) and training professionals have been working hard on the content and scope of this new apprenticeship, but they are asking the industry for its help

to make sure that it meets the needs of the cross-section of organisations. If you are an employer, training provider, assessment organisation or potential apprentice, TKET is encouraging you to fill out its survey form before October 31, 2022. The apprenticeship is intended for designers working, from retail showrooms. It will cover areas such as bespoke design, creative skills and related services for kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, home office, boats and connected living spaces, including multigenerational and accessible applications, as well as one-off commercial developments. Visit for more information.

KBB skills crisis could worsen as demand grows for carpenters

THE SKILLS shortage crisis in the KBB industry has taken a new twist as job adverts for carpenters and joiners are on the rise. Shortages of workers for everything from designers to installers to LGV drivers have been issues for many months. However, vacancies for carpenters and joiners saw a considerable rise in the past few weeks, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Across all jobs in the UK, the average weekly trend for the number of active job postings has risen since mid-June. The weekly average from August 23-29 was 1.66 million. These figures by REC also found that the past five weeks have seen the highest weekly figures in job adverts since mid-December 2020. Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “Demand for workers remains very high across the economy and shows no signs of weakening. However, with businesses in the particularly squeezed food, logistics and hospitality sectors starting to gear up for Christmas, the months ahead could be difficult – even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September.” Damian Walters, CEO of The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), warned the industry that the lack of carpenters and joiners meant the skills shortage


would hit every facet of the KBB industry. Walters said: “The alarm bells need to be ringing as the REC report does not come close to the full scale of the worker shortage crisis. Industries that are essential to home improvement delivered by skilled professionals are predominantly made up of self- employed traders not covered by job vacancy statistics.”

The home improvement boom of the past year has stretched the industry, with Walters reporting lead times going from weeks to months for new installations. But the demand for skilled tradespeople is not a short-term issue, as the BiKBBi has been reporting shortages for many years. Walters continued: “Like other industries though, we are seeing a

major shortage of people able to take up jobs. Put bluntly, there are just not enough skilled installers to keep up with the current boom in consumer demand for home improvements. This means customers are having to wait months instead of weeks. “Unfortunately, this lack of skilled tradespeople is part of a long-term trend. Not enough young people have been encouraged to come into industries like ours, despite the prospect of the high-earning, stable career that it offers. We’ve got by for too long with an ageing workforce that is now looking forward to retirement – with over a third of installers suggesting that they are making retirement plans in a recent survey we ran. This means that the current shortages could get much worse over the coming years.” Walters added: “Other industries have called for an expansion to the Shortage Occupation List that allows skilled workers from overseas to take up jobs in the UK, but this would at best be a sticking plaster. What’s needed is a nationwide effort to encourage youngsters into the industries that people rely on, alongside sustained investment into skills training. We’re doing our part with a new apprenticeship programme launching this year, but it’s going to take the full effort of industry and Government working together to deal with this crisis.”

Modern interior designs win out in survey of Pinterest users

MODERN STYLES were the runaway winner in interior design trends according to a survey carried out of Pinterest by credit comparison site Money’s survey was based on more than 850,000 pins on social media platform Pinterest.

It found that ultra-chic modern décor was the easy winner in kitchens with 284,528 pins against 242,309 who favoured traditional design, 236,753 who pinned ‘cottage’ and 228,900 who went for ‘rustic’. The survey added: “Modern design and decor celebrates the fusion of natural materials, neutral or earthy tones, and monochromatic colours that promote functionality as well as beauty. Unsurprisingly, pins showcasing the modern design style proved to be the most popular. among those redecorating their kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms. In terms of interior design generally, ‘industrial’ came top with 683,480, followed by modern with 478,608 and ‘modern farmhouse’ with 420,232. But when it came to bathroom designs, the tables were turned, with rustic topping the tables at 252,014, followed by modern with 235,010, ‘eclectic’ at 225,900 and Scandinavian at 183,5832.

· October 2021

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