The industry assembles…

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October saw an industry first as installation leaders assembled to discuss education within the sector.

Delegates included representatives from retailers B&Q, Bathstore, John Lewis, Homebase, Omega, Wickes and Wren Living, as well as presence from Trading Standards, BiKBBI installer members and PROCAT – The Prospects College of Advanced Technology.

The first meeting of its type was held at Blum’s Milton Keynes headquarters, which included a tour of their new and innovative Blum Experience and exploration of the international component giants very own apprenticeship programme.

The newly formed Education task force is looking to develop training and education opportunities for both industry newcomers, via foundation training and the new government Trailblazer Apprenticeship initiative, as well as CPD for the current time served installation population already operating in the sector.

Chaired by BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters, the task force will meet monthly in a collaborative effort to improve training and education for the entire industry.

Damian commented on the meeting by saying: “Thanks must be given to those delegates and their respective businesses for their initial commitment and support of this group. I am more than confident that the experience and passion of those in the room will steer the group to achieve our overall objectives.”

Damian went on to say: “Since the meeting, I have met with The CITB [Construction Industry Training Board] and can confirm that an official expression of interest has been logged with the government to convert the old style Fitted Interiors apprenticeship, to the newly formatted Trailblazer conversion. This is the very first step required to bring a new and relevant apprenticeship to life, but it is important to recognise the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly on apprenticeships over recent years”.

“BiKBBI is committed to work with all industry stakeholders to make education, training and development an absolute priority, especially as an ever apparent skills gap is emerging within the home improvement and construction industry. The fact is simple. We need to act now and at pace if we’ve any chance of meeting the installation demands this industry will generate over the next 3-5 years, so anyone wanting to be part of the group should contact us sooner rather than later”.

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