Huge initiative to address KBB skills crisis unveiled by BiKBBI

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is to offer installers easy and affordable access to apprentices with a ground-breaking employer package for the new Apprenticeship programme.

The KBB Fitted Interiors Apprenticeship programme is set to provide hundreds of youngsters with career opportunities within the KBB installation sector, tackling immediate worker shortages and longer-term skills gap challenge.

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is today calling on the industry and installation businesses of all sizes to support the long-term future of the industry’s workforce by promoting the apprenticeship programme and ultimately supporting businesses to take on an apprentice, safe in the knowledge that doing so will be hassle-free with support from BiKBBI.

The invitation comes thanks to a ground-breaking package of tailored support for installation businesses that the Institute has developed in collaboration with strategic partners.

With demand for installation higher than ever, the new BiKBBI support package offers installation businesses a fast track to the workers they need for their businesses to continue to deliver and grow during these times of unprecedented demand.

The apprenticeship package that BIKBBI has developed comprehensively addresses:

• The recruitment of high-quality apprentices, including advertising vacancies, vetting applicants and carrying out all eligibility checks;
• All employment administration, including contracts and paperwork, health and safety checks, and running payroll for the apprentice;
• All of the training requirements, including placing the apprentice with an accredited training provider (BiKBBI Centre of Excellence), monitoring the apprentice’s progress and arranging for the end point assessment needed to complete the apprenticeship;
• All performance management and support for the apprentice – freeing up the installation business to focus on the work itself;
• The process to complete the apprenticeship, ensuring that the apprentice is ready to transition into the next phase of their career.

Recognising that most installers are small businesses having to carefully watch costs, BIKBBI’s package means that apprentices can be taken on and have all wages and other costs covered for as little as £210 per week.

With the Government likely to announce further cash incentives for employers taking on apprentices in this Autumn’s Budget, this means that there has never been a better time for installers to boost their workforces.

Damian Walters, Chief Executive of BiKBBI, said: “This is a real game changer for our industry and it’s going to make a real difference for hundreds of installation businesses. In the last couple of years we’ve had over 700 of our members get in touch to express an interest in taking on an apprentice, but until now many have found it difficult to deal with the cost and bureaucracy of doing so. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to put this package of support together. It means that for the first time, installers of all sizes can afford to take on an apprentice and grow their businesses, without the complication sometimes associated with apprenticeships.”

The apprenticeship support package is backed by a nationwide network of colleges and training providers that BIKBBI has audited to ensure that they have the facilities and teaching standards needed to train work-ready apprentices. These training providers have been awarded BiKBBI Centre of Excellence status in recognition of the high standards they deliver.

The launch of the apprenticeship package follows stark evidence of the dire need to bring new recruits into the KBB industry, with a recent BiKBBI survey revealing that a third of sole trader installers plan on retiring from the industry within the next ten years and less than 10% of employers believe there is a good supply of qualified installers.

BIKBBI is now set to begin a nationwide programme of outreach in schools and communities across the UK to promote the apprenticeship and the opportunities that a career in KBB installation offers young people.

Backed by a three-year funding pledge from Quooker, BIKBBI expects this to lead to over 500 new apprentices per year entering our industry. Campaign activity will include working closely with the college recruitment departments and visiting schools to generate interest in KBB installation careers. BIKBBI is also in discussions with a number of charities and community groups to develop recruitment campaigns within underrepresented communities, helping to ensure that the people from all backgrounds take up the opportunities of a KBB installation apprenticeship.

Damian Walters added: “All of the pieces are in place to provide youngsters a route into our industry, our job now is to help them recognise the opportunity that’s on offer. We’re going to spread the word of how a career in KBB installation offers young people from all backgrounds a way to quickly make a very good living in a trade that’s constantly in demand.”

Installation businesses that would like to take up the offer of a BIKBBI backed apprentice can register at


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