KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
11th February 2020
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As someone who's habitually found it difficult to employ an affordable tradesperson who's good at his or her trade and who can 'fit me in', a press release I received this morning really hit home. Heating and boiler specialist Warm.co.uk is warning that the UK is in danger of running so low on plumbers that we face the biggest crisis in 20 years.
It says plumbing as a profession is being neglected when it comes to attracting and training new workers and that the Government must do something about this now, or we could face a near future where emergency call-outs could take up to three weeks in large cities, putting health and businesses in danger.
As well as the terrible waiting times even for emergency work, the company warns of hugely inflated prices for those who have the money, leaving those who don't, in an even worse situation. It recommends that the Government offers incentives for school-leavers to go straight into apprenticeships and training for the profession, meaning they can begin working very soon after education.
You might think that this won't go down well with good tradespeople who are already in the business, and are probably enjoying the benefits of being in high demand, but perhaps this isn't the case...
Busy plumbing business owner Stephen, for example, says: "I'm the only plumbing business serving quite a large area. We do what we can but there are always more jobs to do than there are hours in the day. "You might think we'd be happy with that and annoyed if lots of other people started working as plumbers, but that's not true. We struggle to recruit. I hate letting people down by not being able to come out sooner, and I'd ideally like to expand my business by employing more people. There are three of us and I can't find anyone else even though the workload is growing."
The average salary for a plumber in the UK is, apparently, currently upwards of £23,000, but can rise to over £37,000 depending on experience and location. Warm.co.uk hopes that the Government can use this relatively high wage to entice young people into the profession. I agree 100%. We have a growing population and when we talk about not having the infrastructure to support it, we generally think about schools, healthcare facilities and the like rather than the means to maintain them...
13th October 2017