Firstly, I wanted to pass on my sincere thanks to our members, sponsors, partners, supporters and followers for yet another positive year for the organisation.
I also want to take this opportunity to personally thank our senior management team, network of independent inspectors and indeed the operational team who have, once again, often gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the organisation remains ahead of the game.
We’ve seen some tremendous developments over the past 12 months – in particular membership growth across our installer, retailer and corporate categories. We’ve attracted hundreds of new members and have developed new and exciting strategic relationships with both retailers and other entities that operate in our industry. I’m also particularly pleased with our member retention, with the vast majority of our professional installers choosing to retain their institute status.
We’ll also be making an announcement in January about an exciting new Corporate Sponsor, which will provide a great start to the year for us, as well as additional weight for our already strong foundations.
Our plans for 2018 remain ambitious, as they are every year. I believe it’s incredibly important to capitalise on the fantastic traction that we’ve achieved over recent years. Whilst I don’t think the next 12 months will be without challenge, I am confident that the organisation will continue to lead the way on the subject of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation.
Focus over the next year is simple and split over three areas.
1. Developing member & partner benefits
2. Opening our Centre of Excellence in the South East (Apprenticeships)
3. Supporting the industry to connect with installers
The first three months will focus predominantly on our members benefits package. We’ll conduct focus groups and online surveys with our members, to better understand their view on our existing benefits, together with their ideas for strengthening them. We’ll ensure we provide a comprehensive and relevant package for those part of our network.
As we hit quarter 2, our efforts will shift towards the opening of our Centre of Excellence at Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT). I believe this will be a demonstrable step forward for the industry and the beginning of new and exciting opportunities for employers and the next generation of KBB installers nationally.
We’ll work with prospective employers, students and schools in the South East to ensure we launch a robust and scalable Apprenticeship in Fitted Interiors – building upon some great work already achieved by the industry on the subject of Apprenticeships.
Following months of development, we’ll also be unveiling an innovative and collaborative approach to installer recruitment for our retail partners. It has become clear that the UK skills gap is biting, but with a holistic approach, I’m optimistic that we can attract professional installers to our sector, adding enormous benefit to our retail partners and those installers who connect as part of the initiative.
Finally, our organisation can only excel with the support from the industry and we need your help to achieve this. We need our members to believe in our values, our partners to continue supporting our initiatives and we need the industry as a whole to get behind the only organisation driving education, standards and support specifically in this part of the industry.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year.
EDUCATION | STANDARDS | SUSTAINABILITY | COMPLIANCE |