30 August 2018 BY: DARRAN SMITH

With the ongoing skills shortage in the heating industry it is important that we reassess the ways to change this to avoid long-term consequences for consumers and businesses.

The Federation of Master Builder’s reported that 41% of small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) are struggling to recruit plumbers. According to the Local Government Association (LGA), based on current trends, by 2024 the UK will be short more than four million highly skilled workers, to meet demand.

Following the Brexit vote, workers are reluctant to come from overseas to work and that is adding to the skills shortage. However, one plus side of this shortage is that there is phenomenal opportunity for people to go into the trades.

In an industry where demand often exceeds supply, heating and plumbing can be seen as one of the most stable job opportunities available. With ample opportunities to upskill and diversify into other areas of the trade, installers can increase their services to suit demand – whether that be including domestic electrical work or fitting renewables.

In a hope to close the skills gap it is therefore vital that manufacturers work with schools and colleges to inform young people of the benefits of going into the heating and plumbing sector to encourage them to develop a career in a trade. If more companies worked with higher education providers, the chance of recruiting young people into their firms would increase. This will be beneficial along with companies going into schools to inspire young people and educate them about the multitude of career opportunities within the heating and plumbing sector.

However, whilst higher education programmes are essential for helping individuals join the sector, Continued Professional Development (CPD) is also imperative to closing the skills deficit and future-proofing the talent pipeline.

Continued education is key to ensuring companies and individuals stay aware of the latest developments within the industry and is important in guaranteeing that skilled talent continues to enter and progress. As new technologies continue to evolve, professionals will need to adapt to the ever-changing industry to develop.

It is fundamental we reach out to young people using the best methods possible. Social media can be used to engage with students about training and job opportunities. Ultimately, if we engage with young people from school age and work with the current work force to ensure their continued development the skills shortage will hopefully become a thing of the past.

At Alpha we have a range of CPD courses available on subjects such as commercial boiler efficiency and tackling fuel poverty. To make an enquiry please visit:  https://cpduk.co.uk/providers/alpha-heating-innovation