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Wickes: Lockdown Has Rekindled Our Love Of Learning New Skills

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Lockdown and the pandemic restrictions have reignited our love of learning new skills, new research reveals. 

For parents of 5 to 15 year-olds, who are currently juggling home schooling, entertaining and parenting, 61% feel that their offspring are now more involved in household tasks than they were pre-lockdown. 

The research of 2,000 parents by home improvement retailer Wickes, found that the average age for kids now making their bed is 9 years old, they are vacuuming at 11 and making cups of tea for all the family by 12. It seems that 13 is still the key milestone age, as it is by this age most will have tried light DIY such as changing a light bulb, will have received their first toolkit – vs their parents who received their first tool kits at 14 – helped remove or hang wallpaper, and even helped chop wood with an axe.  

While the younger generation are often accused of having it too easy, the research shows that children are cooking meals on their own at an earlier age than their parents did (age 10 vs age 12), painting walls (age 11 vs age 13) and doing gardening (age 10 vs age 11).  

And it’s not just kids who have been getting more hands-on during lockdown, adults have been upskilling themselves too, and reaping the benefits. Over 30% of adults attempted to paint a room for the first time during lockdown, while 18% tried their hand at gardening. Of those who learnt a new DIY skill in the last year, 46% showed and passed these on to their children.

And DIY is not just providing practical benefits – 48% of those questioned said doing DIY for the first time helped to keep them feeling positive in lockdown, and 41% said it was good for their mind, and offered them something different to think about. 

Upskilling also has its financial rewards too, as ever enterprising Brits are not just learning new skills but monetising them too. An entrepreneurial 14% of those researched claimed to have turned their newly found skills into a new job opportunity or income stream, with a further 29% hoping to do so in the near future. 

Gary Kibble, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer at Wickes, said: “We know the past 12 months have been difficult for everyone – there isn’t a single person whose life hasn’t been affected by the global pandemic. Learning new DIY and life skills aren’t things that are always taught in the classroom, so it’s great that more of us are using this lockdown time to spend more quality time together, as well as reap the benefits to our wellbeing and new looks to our homes.” 

When it comes to getting inspiration for learning new DIY skills, 67% of parents say their child would turn to YouTube as a source of knowledge – including guides such as the Wickes ‘How To’ collection. 27% believe their child’s first port of call would be social media, as the younger generation look towards immersive and content-rich platforms such as Wickes’ Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages that regularly feature new posts, videos and inspiration. For adults, 25% would still opt for the more traditional route and turn to a parent or family member for guidance and advice.  

The most important life skills parents feel their children should be learning in this day age, based on the research is:

  • Baking 
  • Knitting 
  • Cooking 
  • Basic household DIY, e.g. putting up a shelf, sanding floorboards, etc. 
  • Sewing / darning 
  • How to build a website / code 
  • Learning another language
  • How to maintain a car 
  • How to use social media 
  • Growing fruit, vegetables or herbs 

Source : Wickes

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23 February 2021

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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