Getting to grips with the basics.

B&Q offers DIY training

Published:  13 October, 2010

LONDON: Merchants beware – five B&Q stores will offer customers training in DIY skills.

The DIY training is being trialled at stores in Swindon in Wiltshire, Gillingham in Kent, Meir Park in Stoke-on-Trent, Trafford Park in Manchester and Coatbridge in Lanarkshire from Sunday.

The classes, which will be held twice a day, seven days a week, last between two and four hours, depending on the topic. These include using basic tools, painting and decorating, plumbing, tiling and carrying out eco-improvements.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of B&Q said: "We all know what it's like – you want your house to look its best but don't know where to start.

"It's one thing to explain to someone how to do a job but to make it as easy as possible for customers we have created an area in-store where they can have a go before they start the project at home."

Customers pay a £10 deposit to guarantee their place, returned in the form of a gift voucher and a 10% discount card.

The company reports that 80 people signed up at its store in Meir Park. Trevor Shaw, manager of the branch said: "We're trying to educate customers and something like this is a great addition to our store. We want to build confidence and allow people to do it themselves."

B&Q is also to offer hour-long classes teaching children how to do basic jobs around the house.

The DIY training will help plug a 'skills gap' that has opened up in under-35s, compared to people from older generations, the company said.

One in five of people born after 1975 know how to tile floors or walls, for example, compared to 58% of over-50s. And only a third of people under the age of 35 can hang wallpaper, against a figure of 56% among their parents or grandparents.

A B&Q spokeswoman said: "The new kids' classes are a free opportunity for parents to enjoy making something together with their children.

"Not only are they fun but they are also a fantastic way of providing young people with some of the essential skills they will need later in life when they themselves become homeowners."

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