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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th July 2020


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Having suffered yet again at the hands of tradespeople during the holidays – the first a roofer who was supposed to repair/replace whatever was allowing rainwater to drip through a ceiling, who charged a small fortune for rebedding ridge tiles then left me with the same problem as before by damaging two roof tiles on his way down… the second a heating engineer asked to replace the boiler’s thermistor, pcb or wiring in between, who strung things out for 10 days and charged £350 for pulling up carpets and floorboards searching for a non-existent leak -  it was with interest that I read this week that The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has signed up its first female member. Does Pamella Edwards live locally enough to help me find out whether it’s just men I’m having a problem with, I wonder?

Other changes may well be afoot of course, when it comes to women’s roles in the KBB industry, following the ‘Chicks with Bricks’ reception held at the House of Commons last week, when Nicky Morgan MP, championed the role of women in construction.

“Too often we see women feeling ‘shut out’ of certain careers or routes into work and we know that this includes industries like yours - long being seen as ‘something for the boys’, despite the incredible opportunities it can offer,” she said. “Stereotypes still persist. For many, a job in construction too often still conjures up an image of a man in a high-vis jacket on a building site, wearing his trousers slightly lower then he should be…”

The Government is asking schools and careers advisors to encourage young women to study the subjects that could lead to a career in the industry and asking companies to commit to running apprenticeship schemes that will allow young women to get a foot on the ladder, arguing that technology and innovation have rendered the ‘brawn versus brains’ debate largely immaterial when it comes to construction.

Let’s hope everyone takes up the challenge so that we can soon see builders bottoms of a different type and that the powers that be, ensure that competence and good service are top of the curriculum!





Jan Hobbs


16th January 2015

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