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What will the kitchen and bathroom industry look like at the end of 2021?

The issue around recruitment in our industry has probably truth to tell have been a slow-burning issue over many many many years you know we are an industry that struggles to attract young people.

That’s perhaps a bit of a sad indictment of all of us in the industry that we haven’t done a good enough job in making our industry attractive enough to bring the right high caliber of people to actually want to come into our industry.

It’s so common when we talk to retailers and suppliers about how did they find their way into our industry it’s amazing that so many people kind of almost stumbled their way into it almost by accident. 

We really do struggle and to attract particularly young people in our instrument. This is a real serious problem if they see our industry outside looking in as dull boring gray not very exciting and even think about our industry and that must change that is not healthy that because who is going to be the entrepreneurial business owner of the future the kitchen and bathroom installers of the future the tylers of the future who’s going to be working for the suppliers of the future unless we start to attract these young people into industries there’s a number of things we need to do we need to address that problem that is not an easy problem to fix and that is going to take all industry stakeholders coming together to come up with I think a strategy and a game plan to really help kind of improve that situation to attract young quality people.

We’ve got a short-term problem because almost without exception when we visit our retail customers at some point in the conversation they will ask do we know of anybody in their local area looking for a kitchen designer job stream salesperson’s job because they are absolutely desperate because of the amount of work they now have student installers and bathroom installers during the lockdown went off to do other things but they haven’t come back to work for that retail is you know giving some severe problem because of course when a consumer they may take 12 months to get to a position where they decide to buy a new kitchen or a new bathroom.

Once they’ve made that decision they kind of won it. It’s easy to see where the problem lies in the much harder issues. You can ask what’s the answer so short term one of the things we’re doing we’re encouraging our members rather than looking at recruiting fully experienced kitchen designers bathroom salespeople that I simply don’t believe those people are available out there if they are they’re very few and far between so the answer, therefore, is you probably gonna have to go out into other markets attract the right caliber of individuals come and work in your business but with no experience, one hand is quite an attractive proposition it’s bringing new blood into our industry which is all exactly what we need. 

But of course, it puts terrific pressure on the retail now bringing a new person that now needs training take somebody that has never ever sold a kitchen designed a kitchen be the fully-fledged individual that you want them to be in earning their the revenue you want them to you know that that’s gonna that’s not a quick fix to try and help that process.

What we’ve introduced over the last few months are some online training modules that we’ve been working with different groups to put together and this is both a combination of written work and also videos as well it can be done um in the person’s own time of an evening or over a weekend or if business time is allowed during the working day to do really takes somebody from pretty sort of novice basic level through the steps of the sale to help them basically and help the retailer obviously train this individual up to their certification at the end of it once they’ve completed the course there’s a variety of different courses on Youtube as well.

We’re urging all of our members that are bringing young people into their business fresh to obviously engage and take these courses as part of the training process already we’re getting really positive feedback about it so it seems to be working such a fantastic industry you know it’s fast-paced it’s exciting it’s sexy we’re dealing with high values.

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Sarper Subaşı is a writer who lives in New York City with his family and two dogs. His passions for cooking, decorating and home improvement contribute to his extensive knowledge of all things kitchen and home goods. Reviewing Amazon products is one of his hobbies in twitter: @sarpersubasi Linkedin: sarper subasi

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