If you want to change the world, become a plumber


In Apprenticeships, Training, Education

As GCSE results roll in for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Kevin Wellman, CEO of the CIPHE is encouraging the next generation to consider a career in plumbing and heating.

With outcomes released on Thursday 24 August, now is a key time for those students deciding whether to stay in full-time education, start an apprenticeship or traineeship, or combine part-time working with further studies. Kevin is using this time to raise awareness of how rewarding a career in the plumbing and heating industry can be.

“For those receiving their grades who are still unsure of what their future looks like, don’t stress!” said Kevin. “Why not explore pathways into plumbing and heating? From making the first cuppa of the day to taking a shower or warming your home, heating and water systems are fundamental to our lives. So, if you’re looking to make a difference, perhaps becoming a plumber could be the job for you.”

Looking to the future, the industry is undergoing a technological evolution in line with government net zero objectives.

“There has perhaps never been a more exciting time to join the profession given that there’s so much progress underway. Individuals entering our industry today will be the ones responsible for delivering long-lasting change for a more sustainable future. Therefore, I’d urge anyone considering their future to explore the rewarding opportunities plumbing and heating presents.”

“The industry provides diverse paths, good wages and the opportunity for individuals to run their own business. Because of this, many plumbers stay on the tools for the whole of their career, and may find their calling in drainage, plumbing, heating, renewables or even establish businesses covering all of these essentials. Others progress to design, consultancy, teaching and management positions.”

To become a plumbing and heating professional, an apprenticeship is the recommended route. Learners in England would undertake the Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician apprenticeship while those in Scotland should look for the Domestic Plumbing and Heating modern apprenticeship.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, apprenticeships are split into NVQ Levels: NVQ Level 2 (the entry level qualification) usually lasts two years full time; NVQ Level 3 is the industry recommended qualification and takes an additional year. The CIPHE advocates that learners progress beyond the minimum academic requirement to S/NVQ Level 3 (or equivalent).

Kevin added, “Apprenticeships provide quality education, hands-on experience, and access to a network of professional contacts. They are often the foundation of a successful career. In fact, three quarters of the CIPHE’s current senior team began their own journeys as apprentices. The importance of plumbing professionals often goes unnoticed but as custodians of public safety, health and welfare the contribution made is invaluable.”

For more information, please visit: www.ciphe.org.uk/professional/careers--trainees/career-pathways/