Support for skills “now more important than ever”

Fiona Hodgson on support for skills

Scotland’s leading trade body for plumbing and heating professionals has renewed its call for Government support to prioritise funding for apprenticeships and support for upskilling following the release of details on the UK’s new immigration system that takes effect on 1st January 2021.
Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF), said that demand was already outstripping supply and amid the existing shortage of qualified plumbers, the new immigration system she feared would make it more difficult to achieve Government objectives on housing stock and climate change. Construction costs on these projects will “certainly” increase, she added.

2020 begins with a bounce as earnings soar for plumbers

earnings soar for plumbers

Self-employed plumbers enjoyed a big bounce in earnings in January after taking a well-earned break at the end of last year.
Average weekly pay for plumbing contractors rose by 46.2 per cent to £1,322 last month, according to analysis of payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales.
Freelancers in West Midlands saw weekly earnings more than double in January to £1,484. This is equivalent to an annual salary of more than £71,000.
Their counterparts in London and the South East similarly saw substantial increases last month, rising 62.9 per cent to £1,489 and 49.4 per cent to £1,286 respectively.
The analysis shows that plumbers had highest earnings of all 17 construction trades last month.

How Section 75 is Punishing Good Employers at Plumbing Pensions

Fiona Hodgson on How Section 75 is Punishing Good Employers at Plumbing Pensions

How Section 75 is Punishing Good Employers at Plumbing Pensions By Fiona Hodgson
The road to hell is paved with good intentions which, in the case of the current situation with the Plumbing Pensions Scheme, is having a devastating impact on our industry and many of the people within it across the UK.
The Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme, to give it its full name, was set up in 1975 – decades before there was any legal requirement for employers to help provide for staff in their retirement. Those who joined it – many of them small firms – were doing the right thing, but now those good deeds are being harshly punished.

World Plumbing Day 2020

World Plumbing Day 2020 logo

On Wednesday 11 March, professional plumbers across the land will be celebrated on World Plumbing Day. Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC) - of which the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is a member - World Plumbing Day promotes awareness of the importance of plumbing and plumbers in protecting public health and improving amenity. Advances in modern plumbing mean that it is included in the daily routines of most people in the UK, with barely a moment’s thought. It is trained and skilled plumbers that make this so now and will be needed to do so in the future too.

Earnings Fall For Self-Employed Plumbers In December

Ian Anfield tells Plumbing Trade Magazine about Earnings Fall For Self-Employed Plumbers In December

Earnings for self-employed plumbers fell by 22.4 per cent in December, according to the latest figures released by Hudson Contract.
Analysis of December payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a weekly average of £904 during December, consistent with time taken off work to spend time with families over the festive period.
Between January and November last year, earnings for freelance plumbers rose from £1,054 to £1,166, representing growth of 10.6 per cent.
Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “The very strong growth in weekly earnings over the year shows the financial rewards available for skilled freelancers.

Bell Plumbing Supplies signs exclusive UK distribution deal with Unico Systems

Bell Plumbing Supplies deal with Unico Systems

Bell Plumbing Supplies has been chosen as the exclusive UK distributor and training provider for US-based Unico Systems.

The Missouri manufacturer of small duct heating, cooling and ventilation systems is looking to fulfil increasing demand for domestic air conditioning across Britain.

The Unico System, which is installed in half a million homes and small businesses throughout the US, provides the option of both heating and cooling when matched with a suitable air source heat pump. The system is also compatible with existing boiler and underfloor heating systems.

City Plumbing / PTS opens its latest branch in Filton, Bristol

City Plumbing staff outside their latest branch in Filton

City Plumbing / PTS has unveiled its 368th branch at the new Taurus Road location, Bristol. The new CPS branch, located in Filton has created 3 new jobs in the local area and includes a new concept Bathroom Showroom, City Heating Spares and expansive Electrical department.
The branch will be managed by Gary McQuaid with a 5 strong team including dedicated Bathroom Showroom and Electrical employees. The new Bathroom Showroom concept is designed to encourage the trade to bring their customers to the showroom so they can choose for themselves from the extensive range of quality bathroom suites and accessories on offer.

Michael wins the first Baxi Golden Ticket

Michael winning the first Baxi Golden Ticket

Michael Cockcroft, Director of Centurion Plumbing Services Limited, Sleaford, has won the first Big Baxi Golden Ticket prize draw.  He bought the winning boiler, a Baxi 600 Heat, from the Sleaford branch of Wolseley.  All the Baxi boilers registered on Baxi Works loyalty scheme during the first week of January were entered into the draw, and the winner was drawn at random at the end of the week.
Michael’s Baxi representative, Matt Seaman, and Baxter the Baxi mascot surprised Michael when he visited Wolseley to stock up on materials for his next installation.  They presented him with a £1,000 voucher for a well-known high street store.

IronmongeryDirect survey sheds new light on wellbeing of tradespeople

Happy tradespeople eating sandwiches

Too much work, time pressures and unprepared customers – these are the top three causes of stress at work, according to a new survey of almost 600 tradespeople by IronmongeryDirect.

Work-related stress and mental illness now account for over half of all lost work days in the UK*. However, despite this, the survey found that only 11% of tradespeople have taken any time off work in the last year because of mental ill-health. With over a third (34%) reporting regularly feeling stressed, this research paints a worrying picture.