News & Views


Sustainability is most definitely on the agenda for many and I’m delighted that the BMA and UWLA lead on all things water conservation on behalf of our industry.

Without doubt, we have a challenge to preserve the very precious elements of our fragile earth and we should all be incredibly mindful of our personal and commercial contribution to efforts and indeed environmental impact.

But the term sustainability shouldn’t be restricted to the environment and, as an industry, we should collectively think about what the word means to us and our respective businesses.

For my organisation (The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation), sustainability is focused on workforce as the skills gap crisis starts to bite.

One of the biggest challenges our industry faces at the moment is the shortfall of professionally competent and compliant installation specialists. Yes, without doubt, Brexit has contributed to the issue with its restrictions on labour movement and Coronavirus has generated consumer demand on an unprecedented scale, but the real reason for the shortage is the lack of investment in vocational learning over the last 25 years.

We simply forgot about vocational careers as the revolution hit in the late 80’s and 90’s – this has lead sadly to shortages right across the home improvement industry, as well as more topically HGV drivers and other ‘blue collar’ careers.

But the answer isn’t something that we’ll achieve quickly. There’s no magic pill to take and no speedy solution.

What’s needed is a sustainable approach in the development and delivery of apprenticeships and the creation of a future workforce built on solid foundations.

We have the answer, we now need the entire industry to get behind it – including suppliers, distributors and manufacturers – all of whom have a vested interest in installation, because of course, we can innovate, manufacture, design and sell beautiful product, but it all hinges on the availability of competent and reputable installers.

We need help, so if you think you can, please email [email protected] and arrange a conversation with me. I’d love to hear from you.

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