The iKBBI has announced a new partnership with Care after Combat – a UK registered charity for veterans.
The announcement was made at iKBBI’s 10th anniversary reception at The Houses of Parliament.
The charity provides professional assistance for the wellbeing of military veterans and their families.
iKBBI chief executive Damian Walters (pictured) said: “The industry has a long-standing challenge on its hands, one that by far pre-dates the destabilising referendum result recently. Our challenge is in the form of addressing a widening skills gap that has manifested in a shortage of professional installers choosing to operate in the retail market.
“Our exploratory work with Care after Combat has left us in no doubt that this is a genuinely viable and worthwhile opportunity. This charity does an amazing job by supporting a community of ex-servicemen and women and I am confident that many will have the attributes and appetite to succeed in our industry.
“Here’s a group of people that are deserving of a new challenge in life and already possess many of the skills that our industry would greatly benefit from. Former military personnel have acquired a varied skill-set and are inherently punctual and demonstrate a great work ethic, these make ideal candidates to address the national installer shortage.”
The iKBBI and Care after Combat will work together to identify and address the training needs of ex-servicemen and women over coming months.
Care after Combat chairman and comedian, Jim Davidson OBE said: “All of us are proud of our service men and women. We have the best armed forces in the world. We must now show that we are the best supporters of our forces in the world as well.
“Our troops have fought a succession of battles over the last 50 years and some veterans are still fighting those battles; our aim is to help their rehabilitation back into life beyond the armed forces. Business leaders are united in the opinion that ex-service personnel top their recruitment list. The training and discipline that they have is second to none. They simply are the best.”
The announcement forms part of a number of initiatives that the iKBBI are focusing on in relation to skills shortage.
Walters reported that the apprenticeships for school leavers is “progressing well”, with the formation of a working group including retailers Bathstore, B&Q and manufacturer Blum.
The iKBBI’s iAcademy was also unveiled at the event, which provides an online Continual Professional Development portal for the industry.