BiKBBI CEO sets agenda to tackle industry challenges

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has called the kitchen and bathroom installation industry into action to tackle the key issues that threaten the reputation and viability of the UK’s KBB industry.

BiKBBI has highlighted these issues and the pathways to success in a landmark paper released today, titled ‘BiKBBI 2023: Pathways to support the success of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation industry through times of challenge’.

The paper highlights that:

  • There has been a significant growth in demand for skilled KBB installers over recent years, however the KBB industry has an ageing and shrinking workforce
  • There is a shortfall of proficient and skilled new installers entering the KBB industry in the UK

These issues have compounded the existing skills gap, resulting in longer lead times for retailers and consumers to access trained and skilled installers. This industry landscape is impacting retailers and consumers, and their capacity to complete home improvement projects. The current situation also exposes consumers to a greater risk of opportunist, unskilled traders.

BiKBBI has set out three key pathways to tackle these issues and support and grow the KBB industry in 2023 and beyond.

Learning and development:
Driving the success that BiKBBI has already achieved in 2021 with their apprenticeship programme further, with the creation of a dedicated Education Steering Committee. BiKBBI will work in partnership with the industry to directly tackle and communicate the skills gap issues.

BiKBBI will continue to develop further access to education and resources for KBB installers in partnership with the government and industry to support the growing need for a sustainable supply chain.

Raising standards:
The current skills gap in the UK industry has highlighted the pressing need for retailers and consumers to have access to well-trained and skilled installers. BiKBBI has proposed two pathways to ensure this outcome.

  • Self-regulation – managed and operated by the industry
  • Mandatory regulation – imposed by government

BiKBBI will convene stakeholders and industry representatives to form a standards committee, with a primary goal to agree possible recommendations for regulation.
Damian Walters, Chief Executive of BiKBBI, said: ‘Our industry continues to face significant challenges as we start 2023, but the skills gap is, if anything, growing. We have made great strides with our modern apprenticeship programme, but we will continue to work in partnership with industry via our new Education Steering Committee to tackle this issue and grow the UK workforce.

We want retailers and consumers to access professional, skilled installers with confidence; our pathways for education and sustainability have been introduced with this in mind. However, we feel in 2023 we must, as an industry, discuss regulation and how this pathway could both protect and grow the KBB industry.’


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