Data reveals worker numbers in the plumbing and heating trade are in decline

Data reveals worker numbers in the plumbing and heating trade are in decline

A new report has revealed a decline in the number of workers in the plumbing and heating sector.

The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has analysed 16 years of data from the Office for National Statistics to assess the state of the UK workforce.

In the report, it revealed multiple key trades on the decline. Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers fell by 4.19% from 157,400 to 150,800.

Using the data, the team at Skills Training Group has forecast what the future may look like. By 2049-50, the picture for workers in the plumbing and heating trade looks completely different – with a potential decrease of almost 16% from 2004-05 levels.

Commenting on the research and why young people may be the key to turning the tide for these industries, Mark McShane, Managing Director at Skills Training Group, said: “For many industries, young people entering the workforce early in their careers means they can learn the craft and make it a long term career – with many being business owners by the time they are 30. But, in order to encourage young people to make these choices, businesses in the industry need to engage with young people, sharing their success stories to encourage a new workforce.

“While many young people may enter into a skilled trade through college and apprenticeships, a missed opportunity may be those that have opted to continue studying for A-Levels. For these students, the general direction is to head off to university, so it’s no surprise that many may not have even considered a career in specific trades – this is where recruitment outside of the usual routes can prove fruitful.

“Communication and marketing needs to be a big part of each of the different industry’s goals – young people will better engage with clear and smart communication. To attract and recruit new talent to the industry, its image needs to adapt as well. Companies and industries that make noise, engage with social media and shout about what makes their trades great will see the tide change in the amount of people wanting a job.”

Read the full report and insights at

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