KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
15th June 2018


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Regular readers of KBzine will be well aware of the issues I’ve had with people from the building trade over recent years, in as much as just about everyone I’ve called in to do work – either at my house or at my elderly mother’s, has proved that they’re not actually up to the job.

I’ve often wished for someone like my father, who could turn his hand to anything, think ‘outside the box (I hate that phrase but in this particular case, it really does describe what I’m trying to say!) to overcome challenges or carry out projects with little experience in the type of work involved and produce excellent, long-lasting results, the ‘old school’ way. The trouble is, that those with that type of work ethic, experience and background in basic DIY skills, are all around retirement age or beyond. Why can’t any of the younger people with whom I have dealings, compare?

I love the idea being mooted by the Italian labour minister, to introduce a scheme designed to combine a phased retirement for older, experienced workers with the mentoring of younger workers. The ‘staffetta’ as it’s been dubbed (which means, literally, ‘relay race’) would enable a person nearing retirement age to work reduced hours at proportionally reduced pay, while the balance of his/her job would be performed by a younger worker who is serving an apprenticeship, who will command less pay as a result. The older employee’s social contributions, would be subsidised by the Government, out of the money saved by the employer having to pay the apprentice less than the experienced worker would earn.

Although the scheme is designed to reduce youth unemployment, I can’t help but feel that the skills and knowledge transferred from the older worker to the younger one during changeover periods, could make it just the type of thing we need in my neck of the woods to replenish the diminished supply of competent and trustworthy builders!





Jan Hobbs


7th June 2013

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