KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
20th October 2017
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As someone who's habitually found it difficult to employ an affordable tradesperson who's good at his or her trade and who can 'fit me in', a press release I received this morning really hit home. Heating and boiler specialist Warm.co.uk is warning that the UK is in danger of running so low on plumbers that we face the biggest crisis in 20 years.
It says plumbing as a profession is being neglected when it comes to attracting and training new workers and that the Government must do something about this now, or we could face a near future where emergency call-outs could take up to three weeks in large cities, putting health and businesses in danger.
As well as the terrible waiting times even for emergency work, the company warns of hugely inflated prices for those who have the money, leaving those who don't, in an even worse situation. It recommends that the Government offers incentives for school-leavers to go straight into apprenticeships and training for the profession, meaning they can begin working very soon after education.
You might think that this won't go down well with good tradespeople who are already in the business, and are probably enjoying the benefits of being in high demand, but perhaps this isn't the case...
Busy plumbing business owner Stephen, for example, says: "I'm the only plumbing business serving quite a large area. We do what we can but there are always more jobs to do than there are hours in the day. "You might think we'd be happy with that and annoyed if lots of other people started working as plumbers, but that's not true. We struggle to recruit. I hate letting people down by not being able to come out sooner, and I'd ideally like to expand my business by employing more people. There are three of us and I can't find anyone else even though the workload is growing."
The average salary for a plumber in the UK is, apparently, currently upwards of £23,000, but can rise to over £37,000 depending on experience and location. Warm.co.uk hopes that the Government can use this relatively high wage to entice young people into the profession. I agree 100%. We have a growing population and when we talk about not having the infrastructure to support it, we generally think about schools, healthcare facilities and the like rather than the means to maintain them...
This Week's News
Traditionally, a typical acquisition strategy revolves around acquirers looking for a cut-price deal by preying on struggling and vulnerable businesses. The UK bathroom retailers industry is no different. However, new research into the financial health of the UK bathroom retailers market by business analysts Plimsoll Publishing suggests this needs to change over the next 18 months.
Plimsoll's latest report into the largest 228 bathroom retailers operating in the UK has identified 46 'high-class' acquisition targets which would enable prospective new owners to move into growing and highly profitable areas of the market.
British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation chief executive Damian Walters has this week confirmed that Ideal Standard is the latest big industry brand to join the organisation as Corporate Sponsor, adding to an ever-expanding group of high profile manufacturers who support positive change within the KBB installation sector.
Ideal Standard is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and healthcare bathroom solutions and the premier brands within its group also includes Sottini and Armitage Shanks, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.
Leading German manufacturer burgbad has brought a fresh look to luxury bathrooms with the inspiring and innovative Mya range. As part of the Building Products Group of the Eczacıbaşı Group, burgbad is said to be the market leader in Germany for bathroom furniture.
Launched at the ISH show this year, and available now, Mya takes its inspiration from the wooden clothes horse of yesteryear, featuring light, open pieces in natural or dark grey matt oak veneer, themed around hanging rails and practical drawers. Matching matt basins are available in white and stunning dramatic black.
Hot on the heels of its major modular launch in June, Utopia tells us it's continuing its quest to dominate the modular sector of the bathroom furniture market with the launch of the dramatically updated Halo range.
Its fourth product launch this year, the new Halo range has a host of new features, additional units and a palette of six new on-trend colours. Supported by inspirational photography reflecting the latest home interior styles, the new range is very realistically priced to target a younger audience wanting stylish British quality products at affordable prices.
So for the Autumn, Abode has launched Matt Black, an exciting new finish, to its ever popular Harmonie range which is now available nationwide. The Harmonie range offers solutions across bathroom taps and showers enabling the consumer to have that fully co-ordinated bathroom look.
A new technical director with almost 30 years' experience in the bathroom industry has been appointed by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. Andy Mclean takes on the role with immediate effect and is already getting fully involved with running the technical function.
"We are delighted to welcome Andy to the BMA," says Yvonne Orgill, chief executive. "The timing of his appointment is spot on. The Bathroom and Kitchen Industry Business Conference is just around the corner, on 17 October, and Andy is keen to meet members and delegates from the industry.
National Quiet Day presented the perfect opportunity for Whirlpool to support the local charity, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind, providing a much-needed dishwasher to support The Sanctuary, the charity's new initiative.
CPSL Mind has introduced the new and innovative service, The Sanctuary, to provide a safe haven for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. The setting is a welcoming and a non-clinical environment in which visitors receive compassionate support from trained staff. In an effort to make life easier, for both the visitors and the staff - and to keep the setting clutter-free, Whirlpool has provided and installed a SupremeClean slimline dishwasher.
British Ceramic Tile is rolling out a new brand across the business... Not just a logo tweak or colour palette change; this new brand is much more than that and is the result of a six-month project to position British Ceramic Tile as the brand within the tile industry.
In an industry known for its lack of consumer brands, British Ceramic Tile has set out to challenge current perceptions and provide consumers with a credible, fashion-forward tile brand known and loved for its high quality British manufacturing heritage and style-led approach.
Charleston Bath Experts (CBE), is providing customers with the exclusive Microban system, which uses antimicrobial technologies designed to inhibit the growth of mould and mildew in their bathroom fittings.
Infused into all of CBE's bathtub and shower offerings, Microban is designed to inhibit the growth of mildew and mould and helps bathtubs and showers stay cleaner and fresher for longer, reducing the environmental impact caused by more frequent cleaning.
The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) this week announced the appointment of Angela Smith as its new ambassador for the Central Region - the first of three appointments planned for the coming months.
Angela (pictured) joins the British Institute in her new role, after working with the organisation over the last two years as an independent inspector.
With a 'help me choose' section, and technical information, the guide offers a complete overview of Triton's full range, from digital showers through to shower accessories, providing an all in one resource for all users and marketplaces.
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Amongst them are:
Supplier of the Year Award winner - BSH Home Appliances - chosen by Association members voting for corporate member suppliers who they thought had excelled in their service to them in 2017.
Members of the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and the Scottish Decorators' Federation (SDF) have both voted overwhelmingly to reject the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) proposals to continue to raise the construction industry training levy.