KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
22nd April 2016
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2016 has got off to an encouraging start for UK tradespeople as they declare revenues are up, according to new research.
Two press releases I received this week caused quite a chuckle in my office but when you look into the subject matter it’s really rather worrying…
The first regards an initiative by the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work, designed to promote sustainable work and healthy ageing and draw attention to the importance of risk prevention throughout our working life. I already knew about the ageing workforce but hadn’t been aware of what trouble we might encounter until I really thought about the figures and what they mean:
Some 30% or more of the total UK workforce is already over 50 years old, while 23% of the workforce is made up of those 60 years of age and older (this latter figure is set to rise to 30.7% by 2020).
The British Safety Council is arguing that it will be imperative that we hang onto our older workers and while I realise that makes sense, I can’t help feeling that despite the plans the EU-OHSA has for us, we won’t be seeing many 70 year olds humping boilers or butler sinks into place or delivering a washing machine or the like to a second floor flat without access to a lift!
Can you imagine it?
The second release I mentioned discusses the findings of a CheckaTrade survey which shows that British householders are complaining that Britain doesn’t have enough skilled workmen and women such as builders, plumbers and electricians. Well – from my own experiences, I can second that!
There’s a real need to encourage youngsters to go into the trades, rather than settle for university and what may end up a rocky employment future. Tradespeople – well good ones, anyway – are estimated to be able to earn around £70,000 to £80,000 a year.
I was about to suggest that persuading youngsters to take up a trade and then retrain to carry out an office-based role when the physical side of the work becomes too much, might be the way to overcome the issues, but on that sort of money and some clever investments, they probably won’t need to, will they?
This Week's News
British homeowners have called on the government to encourage more young people to enter the manual trades after a survey showed nine out of 10 agreed with the idea. The survey, commissioned by trade vetting firm Checkatrade.com, quizzed 1,000 homeowners across the UK - and left no-one in doubt about how they feel about the nation's manual skills shortage.
More than four-fifths agreed that Britain doesn't have enough skilled workmen and women such as builders, plumbers and electricians. And 89% - rising to an incredible 95% for the over 55s - think more should be done to encourage young people to take up a trade.
The European workforce is ageing fast. By 2030, employees aged over 55 are expected to make up 30% or more of the total workforce in many EU countries. In the UK, 30% or more of the total workforce is already over 50 years' old, while 60 year and older employees constitute 23% of the workforce, and this figure is set to rise to 30.7% by 2020*.
This demographic trend creates significant challenges and opportunities for both employers and their workforces. That's why the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched the Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign this month. It is set to alert European employers to the urgency of the situation and the need to respond to it in a positive way.
Following on from the success of the first two Laura Ashley collections, British Ceramic Tile has worked closely with the company to translate Laura Ashley prints into a sophisticated range of floor and wall tiles to offer even more design appeal to consumers.
Featuring The Heritage Collection and The White Collection, as well as further colours being added to Artisan to offer retailers and consumers the most quintessentially British collection to date, the new additions are likely to prove very popular...
Imperago has published a paper outlining the importance of taking staff fatigue into account when devising staff working patterns. Major companies convicted of corporate manslaughter that have a turnover of £50m or more could now face fines of up to £20m according to guidelines by the Sentencing Council that were announced recently.
Guaranteed to ensure broad appeal, the Zircon features a stunning LED illuminated frame giving brilliant quality light ideal for putting on make-up or using the tweezers. Its sleek form and slim depth makes it ideal even in small bathrooms, while the reflection of light creates an illusion of extra space.
To coincide with Eurocucina 2016, Italian appliance brand Baumatic held a major launch of its new built-in Vantage Cooking collection at an exclusive event for key UK customers and press. The stylish showcase was held at the Via San Gregorio in Milan and was hosted by Giorgio Lasagni of the Candy Group, Gianfranco Palma, UK CEO of Hoover Candy and Owain Harrison, UK head of sales and marketing Built-in for Hoover Candy Baumatic.
Utopia has introduced a new production process for its range of acrylic shower baths featuring triple layer reinforcement, all at no additional cost. The new Resinite production method includes a 5mm ICI acrylic top coat and results in each bath being incredibly strong and hardwearing with the added benefit of increased insulation properties.
In effect, the baths will now have the solid strength and rigidity of a traditional cast iron bath combined with the natural warmth, high gloss finish and easy clean features that acrylic offers.
Pegler Yorkshire, a leading global plumbing and heating manufacturer, has added the latest to its long line of awards as it received recognition for being one of only two companies in the world to have held the BSI Kitemark(tm) for over 70 years, in addition to being the first UK business to receive the much coveted recognition.
In making the announcement, Andreas Meier, CEO BSH Home Appliances, said: "After nearly 33 years of incredible service to BSH Home Appliances, we announce the early retirement, on April 30th, of one of the most well-known and respected characters with the UK kitchen industry - Mike Jarrett."
Louise will cover the South East and South West of England in her role as area sales manager to support and train Abode's retailer base as well as to increase Abode's showroom presence of its award-winning kitchen sinks and taps as well as bathroom brassware and showers.
Covering the North West is Chelley Thompson, who takes over the role following Paul Dorrington's recent promotion to northern sales manager.
Chelley's credentials extend to over 21 years in the industry, where she has built up an immense amount of experience and industry knowledge, most recently at Astracast and previously Jacuzzi, as well as sales manager roles with distribution companies.
West Midlands based kitchen, bathroom and bedroom manufacturer, Mereway, has entered a team with a difference into a local Fun Run as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. The team will not just be running for charity but will also be pushing a bespoke 'Bath Racer', a bath in a cradle that has been designed and built by one of its suppliers.
The Bath Racer was the brainchild of Mereway buyer Wayne Frost and SpeedFab, a supplier to Mereway that manufactures bespoke stainless steel parts.
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