Quooker agrees 3-year sponsorship of BiKBBI Apprenticeship Initiative

Following the launch of The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation’s (BiKBBI) ‘Operation Next Gen’ campaign, Quooker has agreed a three-year sponsorship deal of the institute’s new Apprenticeship initiative.

The announcement comes as the KBB industry faces a significant issue with its growing skills gap, meaning the high consumer demand for installation and after-sales care is unable to be met with any speed. Caused in part by significant EU migration and forced business closures from the Covid crisis, this problem has the potential to hinder the entire industry’s ability to bounce back. Therefore, this nationwide training scheme seeks to heavily invest in the next generation of home-grown KBB installers.

Alongside the BiKBBI, Quooker’s six-figure investment will drive the industry charge in promoting KBB Apprenticeship opportunities, predominantly amongst secondary school students in years 9-11. Through the opening of ten new regional Centres of Excellence, these training hubs across England will be key in growing local talent. These centres will mark the delivery of KBB Fitted Interior Apprenticeships from September 2020. By 2022, BiKBBI hopes to expand these training centres into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This investment will also be used to set up a new interactive industry website where BiKBBI members will post job vacancies and in-house apprenticeship schemes. With ambitious targets, the Apprenticeship initiative has been created to generate real change.

Quooker Managing Director Stephen Johnson comments, ‘The Covid crisis has undoubtedly shaken the kitchen industry, with considerable and persistent financial pressures and staff welfare strains placed on retailers, manufacturers and businesses across the country. We’ve undergone some of the toughest trading conditions our industry has ever faced. At Quooker, we believe that we have a wider responsibility of support wherever possible and realise the industry’s success depends on businesses and brands uniting to do what they can. We are therefore honoured and delighted to be involved with this crucial initiative to grow and train the next generation of installers.’

Speaking on the partnership, BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters comments, ‘Now is the time for institutions to step up not step away. Without Quooker’s investment, we would not be in a position to support the industry as we are. No one will fix the issue of building a future workforce on this scale and I call upon other brands to follow Quooker’s lead on this – we need more brands to get behind our efforts. We are stronger together.’

For more information on the initiative or for expert comment from Stephen or Damian, do get in touch at quooker@hillgatepr.co.uk.

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