New Partnership Explores Exciting Opportunities for Veterans

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At its tenth anniversary reception, held at The Houses of Parliament in July and hosted by its Patron Stephen Metcalfe MP; The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) announced an exciting new partnership with Care after Combat – a UK registered charity providing professional assistance for the well being of military Veterans and their families.

At the milestone event, iKBBI CEO Damian Walters addressed the guests by saying: “The industry has a long-standing challenge on its hands, one that by far pre-dates the destabilising referendum result recently. Our challenge is in the form of addressing a widening skills gap that has manifested in a shortage of professional installers choosing to operate in the retail market”.

Damian continued, “Our exploratory work with Care after Combat has left us in no doubt that this is a genuinely viable and worthwhile opportunity. This charity does an amazing job by supporting a community of ex-servicemen and women and I am confident that many will have the attributes and appetite to succeed in our industry.”

Damian added “Here’s a group of people that are deserving of a new challenge in life and already possess many of the skills that our industry would greatly benefit from. Former military personnel have acquired a varied skill-set and are inherently punctual and demonstrate a great work ethic, these make ideal candidates to address the national installer shortage.”

The iKBBI and Care after Combat are committed to working together to identify and address the training needs of ex-servicemen and women over coming months.

Care after Combat Chairman and comedian Jim Davidson OBE commented by saying: “All of us are proud of our service men and women. We have the best armed forces in the world. We must now show that we are the best supporters of our forces in the world as well.”

“Our troops have fought a succession of battles over the last 50 years and some Veterans are still fighting those battles; our aim is to help their rehabilitation back into life beyond the armed forces.

Business leaders are united in the opinion that ex service personnel top their recruitment list. The training and discipline that they have is second to none. They simply are the best.”

The announcement today forms just part of a number of initiatives that the iKBBI are focusing on in relation to the skills shortage that Damian Walters referred to in his speech.

He also reported that the apprenticeships for school leavers is “progressing well”, with the formation of a working group including blue-chip industry retailers Bathstore, B&Q and manufacturer Blum.

The iKBBI’s iAcademy, providing an online Continual Professional Development (CPD) portal for the industry was also unveiled at the event today, with an exciting development that addresses training needs for the time served professional.

Further information about Care after Combat can be contacted via their website

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