Do you remember Barry Bucknell?
He was the London builder who became one of the first television DIY experts. He presented the television series “Barry Bucknell's Do It Yourself" which at its peak attracted 7 million viewers. Most of what I know about Formica I learnt from Barry.
I was thinking of Barry when I was reading a Schedule which included a claim for “DIY”. In this case the Claimant valued the loss of his ability to carry out “decorating, redecorating, maintenance and gardening” work at £1,750 per year until he was aged 70 and at £875 from age 70 onwards.
Nearly all Schedules now include a claim of this type and these are rarely challenged. Does every Claimant really have “DIY skills” worth nearly £35 per week? If so, perhaps Barry and all the other television DIY and makeover experts who have followed him over the years really have improved the nation’s practical skills.
Then I read about the “WorldSkills Olympics” which is taking place at the ExCeL arena in London during October 2011.
This is a competition to demonstrate proficiency in basic tasks such as changing a tyre, putting up shelves, wall papering a room and even changing a plug.
The competition is being organised by UK Skills (http://www.ukskills.org.uk/) because apparently too many of us are “Plebs”.
Plebs are people lacking everyday basic skills and there are rather a lot of us according to a recent survey. There is also a developing generation gap in that 72% of 18 to 24 year olds are able to join a Wi-Fi network but only 9% are capable of poaching an egg.
Armed with this information I shall look at DIY claims more carefully in the future to make sure that Claimant in question really is a “Bucknell” and not one of the “Plebs”.