A lack of skilled workers and poor training opportunities are the most pressing concerns of the modern plumbing and heating installer, new research has shown.
A survey carried out by Wavin, set out to discover what made installers tick, as well as gathering details on the current state of the plumbing and heating trade.
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 insights, including that plumbers are making the most of new materials on the market, with over 32% seeing a decline in copper use.
When asked what made the perfect customer, respondents said it was about prompt payment, with almost half (48%) stating this is a much appreciated quality.
The survey also revealed 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.
Also noted, in the world of politics, over a fifth (21%) of respondents said they would like to see 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, which was favoured by 47% and 65% of respondents respectively. Football was also the sport of choice for plumbers, with the game preferred by 48% of survey participants.
Karen Stables, Marketing Manager at Hep2O, commented: “It is no secret that the construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage. 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. At Hep2O, we actively work with colleges and students to engage new talent entering the profession, to complement our existing eLearning and CPD courses.”
John Allen was one of the 149 plumbing and heating installers who took part in the survey, and was the lucky winner of a £50 Amazon voucher. He added: “I never win anything so this was a great surprise! I’m sure I speak for most installers when I say that the industry needs more skilled workers, and I’m pleased to see a manufacturer like Wavin raising awareness of the issue. I really enjoy my job, so much so that I’ll probably spend my voucher on some new tools!”