The British Institute for Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has welcomed news of increased investment in skills training and apprenticeships, as part of the Budget announcement.
But the association warned Government, it must ensure it supports trades facing the biggest skills gaps with its increased funding of to £2.7bn by 2024/25.
CEO of the BIKBBI Damian Walters said: “Vocational training has been undervalued for far too long, so the money pledged by the Chancellor today comes as good news.
“However, it will be money wasted unless it works to support trades that everybody relies on that are facing the prospect of huge skills gaps.
“Research we carried out earlier this year found that around a third of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers are planning to retire in the next decade, creating a shortfall in people with the skills to provide a service that all households rely on.
“Coupled with the record high demand that we’re currently seeing for installers, this creates fertile ground for unqualified, unscrupulous operators to move in. This would be disastrous for consumers and the industry alike.
The BiKBBI has recently launched an apprenticeship initiative to address the current skills gap, helping create apprentices and aiding micro kbb businesses to employ them,
Damian Walters continued: “In response we have, this week, announced a ground-breaking programme that will create apprentice opportunities for hundreds of school leaders, allowing them to develop the skills and experience needed to build rewarding careers.
“But the full value of this will only be realised if Government investment supports skilled trades like ours and does not simply subsidise recruitment into jobs that don’t have skills needs or training programmes for people already at work.
“The Government needs to make sure that today’s investment has the maximum impact by putting in place measures that ensure it follows industry standards in sectors that offer rewarding careers in every community.”