KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th February 2017
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Already available in Inox Look, Edge Straight is a stylish aluminium handle, 41mm wide, and is now available in four new finishes - Brushed Rose Gold, Brushed Anthracite, Antique Bronze and Brushed Brass. The perfect complement for the current trend for vintage or industrial looks, the new handles carry a lifetime guarantee along with all Furnipart handles.
The Elements brand, manufactured by Abacus in the UK, offers what is arguably the most comprehensive range of wetroom and waterproofing products currently available.
Mereway Bathrooms has launched a new range of freestanding bathroom furniture that is traditional in style with a contemporary twist. Knightsbridge is a design-led collection that taps into the trend for painted furniture in the bathroom and offers an affordable alternative to bespoke hand painted furniture.
Wednesday’s Office for National Statistics announcement that UK employment reached 74.6% in the last quarter of 2016 – the highest rate since such records began in 1971, while unemployment remained at its record low since 2005 on 4.8%, compared with 5.1% for the same period the previous year – has caused quite a stir.
Of particular interest to various players in the KBB industry was the announcement that the number of EU nationals employed in the UK had risen by 190,000 in the final quarter compared with the same period the previous year, but, comparing the final quarter of 2016 with the preceding quarter, there were 19,000 fewer EU nationals employed – the first three-month fall in since Q3 2014.
While David Freeman, ONS senior statistician, warns that the fall in the number of workers born in other EU countries should be treated with caution as the figures have not been seasonally adjusted, the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD and Adecco says that labour and skills shortages are starting to bite in UK sectors that employ a high number of EU nationals – such as general building and the more specialised allied trades, as well as retail.
It suggests that, despite a near record number of vacancies (748,000 according to ONS data), UK employers are struggling to fill roles with the right candidates and that low-skilled sectors which typically employ a large number of non-UK nationals from the EU are facing particular recruitment challenges.
The CIPD says employers need to review their approach to workforce development and training and improve the attractiveness of their jobs through better line management and job design, developing closer links with local educational institutions and improving pay and employment conditions where possible.
Interestingly, the Outlook also asked employers that employ EU nationals how they would respond to potential migration restrictions. A quarter (26%) said they would ‘pay the difference’ and absorb the extra cost of recruiting EU nationals, whilst others said they would seek to retain older workers (19%), invest more in training and up-skilling (17%) and recruit more apprentices (17%).
Good news then for the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, which has been working with the Government on the development of a new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Fitted Interiors! Its success, about which you can read more below, means that in one part of our industry at least, it’s likely to be, ‘business as usual’.
This Week's News
The UK building and home improvement products distribution market is a large, mature market and as such tends to experience modest year on year change. In both 2015 and 2016, the market has performed well displaying growth rates of 4% per annum according to a new report by AMA Research.
As our homes become more complex through the advent of new technologies and energy efficiency systems, homeowners are now seeking specialist tradespeople to carry out their home improvements according to TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople, which today announced that it has recorded another bumper year of helping homeowners.
In 2016, more than 8.3 million search results were provided to homeowners who used TrustMark's website and telephone helpline to find local firms and expert tradespeople to carry out their home improvements and repairs.
Popular appliance manufacturer Belling, part of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, has launched a collection of freestanding microwaves to complement its existing cooking ranges. The new collection includes five products and offers two distinct aesthetics - a collection of sleek modern appliances and a Retro range in racing-car red, glossy black or vintage cream.
The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, has confirmed that the Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, The Rt.Hon.Robert Halfon MP (pictured), has granted government approval for the development of a new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Fitted Interiors.
Established in 1988, Ripples has become famed for designing and creating beautiful bespoke bathrooms, they have built up an impressive collection of showrooms nationwide, employing almost 30 bathroom designers.
2017 saw the doors open on one of Ripples' largest showrooms in Birmingham, based within Cookes Furniture the new showroom is already proving to be a huge hit, with hundreds of visitors heading to the inspiring new showroom in its first month.
A new 232-page bathroom brochure has been introduced for 2017, emulating the creative lines of the Abode product range. It has been designed as a complete product information guide providing both Abode's retail partners and the consumer with everything they need to know, to make those all-important decisions.
The new Regent furniture collection is the ideal solution for any bathroom, providing ample storage without compromising on style. Regent has a classic aesthetic with a modular design, playing on the key modular living trend and offering an elegant and flexible solution for all bathrooms.
The international quantitative study polled 2400 consumers, to understand lifestyles, tastes and changing attitudes towards housework and cooking.
Solid surface specialist Karonia has launched a brand-new company website at www.karonia.com. The result of an intensive period of redevelopment, the new site comprises dedicated microsites for each of the company's retail brands, Mistral worktops, Orello sinks and Karonia Store tooling and accessories.
The gentle curves and raised edges of the Style combine to produce an almost 'floating' effect on the worksurface and its new Alabaster White colour is translucent in appearance, further elevating the aesthetics.
The company has announced that Adinde Blacquière has made the decision to leave Alno UK to pursue personal ambitions. This has presented the UK Board with an opportunity to reassess the organisation to see how it can restructure to better support its continued growth.
VitrA has invested in its marketing department with a new member of staff, Jodie Sutherland.
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