The 21st century's plumber shortage has been heavily reported of late, persuading lots of individuals to change profession and have a go at a profession in plumbing. But do the numerous plumbing courses to be found on the web and in the newspapers really steer you into a well-paid career, or is it all just a pipe dream?
There is some truth in the news stories which claim a minority of plumbers are making a frightening £90 per hour, yet in order for this to be seen as news, it must be at least slightly uncommon. In London especially, the general higher cost of living blended with a lower number of plumbers per capita, means that experienced plumbers who have taken plumbing courses can expect very high fees, but this isn't necessarily the norm in other areas of the UK.
The reason there are so few plumbers in London and other areas is the prior financial recession which came about in the 80s and 90s. In this period many plumbers had no option but to hunt for more dependable professions as the demand for their services dramatically decreased as plumbing businesses were forced to make redundancies and cut the apprenticeships they could provide.
In recent years however, the plumbing profession has begun to do very well again! The relative lack of plumbers and the demand for top plumbing services has risen and so have fees! Ex-services personnel, Uni students, mature learners and school leavers are just a few of the types of individuals who are now enrolling on plumbing courses due to promises of unbelievable pay, flexible hours, self-employment and steady demand.
The rise in the number of graduates who are enrolling on plumbing courses is proof of one of the difficulties that has lowered the quantity of skilled plumbers about. In the school system there is a real prejudice against practical, vocational professions. Instead of allowing school kids to choose their own futures, lots of schools and colleges really push their charges into academia.
There are other difficulties with plumbing courses as well. There are shortages of truly good, experienced teachers to teach at the increasingly popular plumbing courses. There is an extremely simple reason for this - teaching salaries are dramatically lower than the wages you can make as an expert plumber. So unless a plumber is inspired to pass his or her knowledge to the next generation, plumbing courses just can't get the staff...
Of course, there are great plumbing courses and brilliant plumbing courses teachers out there, you simply have to know where to find them. Meanwhile, the plumbing profession continues to boom and the fresh blood which the trade really needed is beginning to flow once again. There are great plumbing courses about; you just have to be canny when you pick your plumbing courses provider.