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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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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?



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Jan Hobbs



22nd April 2016

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