17. December 2010 10:54
According to recent reports Australia is suffering from a distinct lack of plumbers. So much so they are looking for skilled plumbers from the UK to travel down under to help them fill this skills gap. But why are there shortages in a trade which is so well paid?
The BBC website has briefly touched upon the subject, but in our eyes may have missed the main point. It quotes Peter Wright, an associate Professor in economics at Nottingham University, who alluded to the point that the shortage of plumbers in the UK is due to the rapid expansion of higher education opportunities. The government has positively encouraged virtually everyone to undertake a university degree course. This policy enticed individuals away from skilled trades such as plumbing. He added that Australia is in fact in a very similar situation. It is now the responsibility of private companies, such as Access Training, to try and fill the void. Our plumbing training courses are producing highly skilled individuals, which countries such as Australia and Canada are attempting to entice with lucrative offers.
One point the BBC missed is just how difficult it is in Australia to get trained and practice as a plumber. The opportunities to train and be recognised as a qualified plumber are very different from the UK. Various licences and certificates need to be issued prior to practicing as a plumber; this makes a British plumber extremely attractive as they already hold recognised international qualifications such as a City & Guilds in plumbing or an NVQ2 in plumbing. There is also the problem of how the plumbing industry is perceived abroad in countries like Australia and Canada. It seems the UK appreciates the fact above all others that plumbing is a well valued and highly respected profession. In Australia and other countries it is argued that this is not the case, and that the quality of the work plumbers produce may not be as high as in the UK. An example is quoted below from a Canadian website. A recent forum entry from a contributor wrote:
‘Here in Canada, trades [such as plumbing] are in serious trouble and are seen as un-glamorous amongst career ambitious people. It seems that getting your hands dirty as a tradesperson is un-trendy when the reality is the opposite. I shy away from hiring trades because the chance of getting the job done properly is about 20%. I have expelled tradesmen and refused to pay because of shoddy work and normally end up completing the job myself to be sure it is done properly. Just watching Holmes on Homes (I am sure it airs in the UK) confirms this problem. I have personally become a very proficient plumber, electrician, carpenter, bricklayer, plasterer, decorator, cook and bottle-washer as well as being an electronics engineer by trade. There is REALLY good money to be earned out there as a competent trades person!
So if you have aspirations to work abroad either now or in the future, get in contact with Access Training. Our beginners training course in domestic plumbing will put you on your way to finding well paid work in no time at all.