Now let’s reap the benefit of professional qualifications in the kitchen industry
At first, and when I joined the industry, the talk was about professional qualifications looming on the horizon. Then they were promised to be drawing ever closer and even until recently, they were ‘only around the corner’. Now, and at long last, they are here! It’s taken a long time; plenty of hard work, not to mention perseverance – sometimes in the face of adversity and definitely in the interrogation spotlight – but the kbb industry has its first Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design. But even more importantly, this course has reached its first quota of students for the course to take place. So now, hands up…who didn’t think we would get this far and is now set to munch on a fat slice of humble pie?
Of course, that doesn’t mean the hard work is done and dusted. Let’s not be complacent. We have seen courses launch with great gusto and quietly slip away from the kitchen and bathroom spotlight, before. And we must ensure this degree doesn’t become just another missed opportunity for this industry.
The educational system is hungry and needs to be fed with the same (or preferably more) students each year. The first year of students will hopefully be an appetizer for a glut of keen minds to follow. And as the students undertake the course, devised in partnership with the industry and learning from the likes of Johnny Grey, they must be responsible for helping spread the word about the value of it. And hopefully employers will start to reap the benefits, as their staff members hone their skills and understanding of kitchen design. In turn, it should mean they send more employees on the course, until the Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design is considered a requirement of employment.
But we mustn’t forget a choice of career path for those entering the industry, or even somewhere further down the line. And the kitchen industry is beginning to plug those gaps – too – from kitchen installation to The Principles of Kitchen Design –Level 3, and professional accreditation from the likes of Society of British and International Design. All of which needs to continue and be mirrored in the bathroom and bedroom industry! As the song goes “the road is long” but certainly – and at long last – at least we’re on the right route!