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THE RISE OF THE HOUSEHOLD STAFF - 'THE DOWNTON EFFECT'

August 15th, 2014

According to eBay, chandeliers and candelabras have become 20% more popular since the latest series of Downton Abbey aired at the end of last year. But the demand for fine, opulent furnishings is not the only thing to be revived. The 1920’s Georgian household is back in favour thanks to something known as ‘The Downton Effect’.

Downton Abbey’s popularity has swept the world and is now a global phenomenon. There has been a distinct rise in the demand for household staff and people wanting formally staffed households. No longer is it upper-class, aristocratic families living on country estates hiring staff but nouveau-riche high-net-worth-individuals in China, Russia and the Middle East.

Quintessentially People’s Managing Director, Samuel Martin says: "Downton Abbey has drawn attention back to household staff, but the industry has changed. Salaries can often be higher than a lawyer's. We recently placed a PA in a £150,000-a-year position. Candidates are well educated and have extraordinarily varied skills. Household staff are no longer treated like lowly members of the house but valued members of the family."

A nanny is now seen as serious career option – Norland trained nannies are educated to degree level and nowadays, are often required to help children with their studies and homework. Between 2001 – 2007 childcare was the fastest growing job for women in the UK.
Unlike the stringent household staff roles of the 1920’s, positions can now be merged. For example; a chauffeur can act as the close protection officer and a personal assistant as the wardrobe mistress/master.

And whilst every household would love their very own Charles Carson – Butlers can now command salaries of over £60,000 instead of surviving on bed and board alone. Just months after the television show first aired, Bloomberg reported that demand for Butlers began outstripping supply, even as the Guild of Professional English Butlers reported a 20% increase in new trainees.

More than one in 10 of the UK's 25 million households employ domestic help – a figure that is set to rise. ‘The Downton Effect’ is no longer just the quintessentially British way of life, it is now on-trend, fashionable and favourable internationally. Quintessentially People understand this industry and our
clients better than anyone and are here to assist every step of the way.

Downtown Abbey returns to our screens this Autumn on ITV1 in the UK and January 2015 on PBS in the US.