Now in its third year, Quality Plumber Week will be once again celebrating the UK’s dedicated and hard-working plumbing and heating engineers from 03 – 09 October 2016. The nations plumbers are a highly skilled and dedicated workforce who deliver safe water and heating to our homes and workspaces, yet most of us take these services for granted.
Organised by Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC), the week will be building on the success of previous years to unite the entire industry in shining a spotlight on the vital role plumbers play in our communities. Doing the jobs most people would rather leave, plumbers often come to the rescue with burst pipes and broken boilers yet they also provide consumers with the latest advice on heating technologies, energy saving tips and water safety.
The week also stresses the importance of using properly qualified, trained and accredited plumbers in a bid to reduce the numbers of rogue traders operating in the industry. Homeowners are encouraged to check if their tradesperson has professional qualifications and accreditation to a professional trade body to avoid being a victim of sub-standard work.
By raising the profile of plumbing as a respected profession, it’s hoped that more young people will be encouraged to consider an apprenticeship in the sector. Recent research from APHC found that attitudes towards apprenticeships appear to have shifted in recent years – 86% of people polled agree that school leavers should be encouraged to consider an apprenticeship rather than being pushed into the Higher Education route, with only 2% disagreeing.
With apprenticeships once again becoming an accepted option post-16 education, the trade needs to promote the benefits and positives of becoming a plumber or heating engineer to create a new generation of professional tradespeople. On a positive note, plumbing apprenticeships remain the most sought after with around 5,500 plumbing apprentices enrolling on a course in England and Wales in 2015.
The week will also highlight work within the industry to tighten up Building Regulations enforcement, to protect consumers and ensure a level playing field for the many professional tradesmen who comply with the UK’s rigorous construction standards. Research carried out by APHC found that 74% of heating businesses believe that stricter enforcement would be beneficial to their businesses as competitors undercut their prices by bypassing regulations and 69% agree that customers are willing to breach building regulations to save time or money – despite these being in place to protect them. A worrying high 69% had also discovered areas of non-compliance when visiting sites.
John Thompson, Chief Executive, APHC added: “Quality Plumber Week is once again uniting plumbers to showcase the world-class professionals we have working to keep up with our demand for fresh, clean water on tap and instant heat at our fingertips. The perception of plumbers and plumbing, as well as trades in general, appear to be making positive strides and we’re encouraged by the numbers of young people recognising the benefits of a career in the industry.
“We hope that everyone will come together to celebrate our industry and raise awareness to homeowners that there are many highly qualified professionals out there – who are proud of their trade and work they do each day. “
Plumbers are also being encouraged to get involved and win the ‘Mega’ prize at the conclusion of the week, donated by various suppliers across the industry. Quality plumbers can support the campaign using the #QPW16 to be entered into the prize draw. Working with partner trade suppliers the total prize value now stands at £2,200.
For more information on Quality Plumber Week and to learn how you can get involved visit www.aphc.co.uk/quality-plumber-week. You can also join the conversation and thank your plumber on social media at #QPW16.
To find a local quality plumber visit www.findaqualityplumber.co.uk. More advice and consumer focused plumbing and heating news from APHC can be found on their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/FindAQualityPlumber.