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


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Having been fridge-less since the middle of last week and not expecting the manufacturer's engineer to work on my errant appliance until next Tuesday - despite it still being under guarantee - I've been feeling somewhat disgruntled with life as you might imagine. The mild weather hasn't made it easy to prevent our fresh produce from spoiling, while the rain has just added to the misery at having to go outside to replace ice we've made in an attempt to keep things cool, or grab the milk every time we fancy a cuppa. And while many in my position might be salivating at the thought of being given a new appliance if the broken one can't be saved, I'm dreading that happening in case we have to go through Christmas continuing to store our food and drinks in boxes on the patio!

Having also had flu, I've spent hours whingeing in my head about how nothing's as good as it used to be, with items no longer lasting as long as they did (and should) and never being able to get good tradespeople.

So although the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation's Damien Walters may well have been hinting at something completely different, his comment this week (see more below) about installation failing to keep up with innovation in other areas of the industry, just backed up these thoughts. I must add here that it's not the Institute's members I've been disliking, but those in other trades who've let me down over the years!

The Federation of Master Builders may have an angle on things with its statement yesterday that apprenticeships are plummeting because of the Apprenticeship Levy. Its reaction is in response to statistics published by the Department for Education, which show that there's been a 24% fall in apprenticeship starts for the 2017/18 academic year compared with the previous academic year.

The FMB's CEO Brian Berry says that the reforms announced at the recent Conservative Party Conference, don't go far enough. He feels that instead of large firms being allowed to pass 25% of Levy vouchers down through the supply chain to smaller firms, this figure should be increased to 100%, since in construction, it's the smaller firms that train more than two thirds of all apprentices. I have to say, I agree with Brian that more flexibility is needed - and although he didn't say it, a little more forethought by Government too!




Jan Hobbs



7th December 2018

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