News

Is the plumbing industry in crisis?

A plumber shortage is leading to longer waiting times for emergency work

A plumber shortage is leading to longer waiting times for emergency work

The UK is in danger of running so low on plumbers that the country faces the biggest crisis in 20 years, heating and boiler specialist, Warm.co.uk.

Warm.co.uk believes the government needs to act now, or the consequences for consumers and businesses in the UK could be very serious.

Unless more plumbers are trained, the UK could face a future where emergency call-outs could take up to three weeks in large cities, putting health and businesses in danger.

Spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe, said: “Plumbing is a profession that is being neglected when it comes to attracting and training new workers. Kids just aren’t interested in plumbing.

“Unless we urgently address this problem, we’re looking at a crisis, with far too few plumbers to meet the demands of growing domestic and business areas around the UK.

“It’s not too late to address this, but the solution needs to be drastic, immediate, and preferably government-led.

“If we don’t do anything about this problem as a country, we’re going to see terrible waiting times even for emergency work, as well as hugely inflated prices for those who have the money, leaving those who don’t in an even worse situation.”

Warm.co.uk recommends a series of measures that could be taken to ensure the country has enough plumbers to avoid the problems a crisis could cause.

These include offering incentives for school-leavers to go straight into apprenticeships and training for the profession, meaning they can begin working very soon after education.

Plumbing business owner, Stephen, 43, welcomed the warning from Warm.co.uk. He said: “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 just 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 at the moment and I can’t find anyone else even though the workload is growing.”

The average salary for a plumber in the UK is 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, otherwise the cost to the UK will be far, far higher.

Tags