Skills shortage biggest concern for sector, according to tradespeople

Published:  22 June, 2018

A shortage of skilled workers and poor training opportunities are the most pressing concerns of the modern plumbing and heating installer, new research shows.

The 'State of the Nation' survey, carried out by manufacturer Wavin, drew responses from 149 plumbing and heating installers. It found that over half (56%) of respondents stated that the skills gap is the biggest threat facing the plumbing industry today. However, more than four-fifths (86%) of plumbing professionals would still recommend it as a career, thanks to an abundance of work and high job satisfaction.

The findings also provided a range of additional new insights - when it comes to the perfect customer, it’s all about prompt payment with almost half of respondents (48%) saying this is a much appreciated quality.

The survey also paints the picture of the modern day plumber as someone who loves to spend their spare time in the great outdoors, or grabbing a bite to eat in the latest high street restaurant. And, in the world of politics, over a fifth (21%) would like to see renowned actor Idris Elba to take on the role of Prime Minister.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a cup of tea and a sandwich remain the refreshments of choice, favoured by 47% and 65% of respondents respectively. Meanwhile, football is the sport of choice for plumbers, with the beautiful game preferred by 48% of survey participants.

“It is no secret that the construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage,” noted Karen Stables, Marketing Manager at Wavin. “Earlier this year, it was revealed that plumbing is just one of many skilled professions where demand outweighs supply, and without intervention, this can only get worse. Our survey only reinforces how large scale the issue is becoming.

“If we, as an industry, are to tackle the issue effectively, we need to look at the reasons behind the skills gap and address those accordingly."