With 2016 well under way, there’s a ‘feel-good’ factor about what lies ahead for building services professionals; 2015 ended on a high note following a recovery for the house-building sector, not to mention George’ Osborne’s offer of £12bn for infrastructure spending over the next five years.
This, coupled with the government’s new (controversial) determination to build on green and brownfield sites, is set to boost construction as a whole over the next 12 months, but, with that comes the issue of a skilled labour shortage which continues to plague the industry.
We predict that 2016 will see many installers seeing the benefits of diversifying their skills set; making the most of themselves and their businesses. If you can offer a range of services to customers and when contracted on-site, you’ll be greatly in demand. As an already trained heating engineer, for example, what’s stopping you going that extra mile and offering the full package as a qualified electrician – it could ultimately save you time and money!
Another trend is homeowners looking to improve their homes rather than moving given the caution the last recession instilled. Again, with a shortage of electricians around to fit new luxury showers or to wire-up funky lighting systems, up-skilling could be the order of the day.
The ever-evolving wheel of gas and oil prices has come full circle once again with oil coming out pretty cheap at the moment. Again, with diversification in mind, as a gas heating engineer, you are already well equipped to undertake the necessary oil qualifications, opening your business up to a new customer base and increased work load.
Apprenticeships will be big this year too, with the government’s heavy commitment to encouraging more people into careers via vocational routes. This ties in quite nicely with addressing the skills shortage within our sector; perhaps you have a son or daughter who could help your business expand? Or perhaps you have a friend or family member who’s currently disillusioned in their current career? Could they make the switch? We have a number of apprenticeships available that could help bolster the industry.
2016 is set to continue in the same vein as 2015, with homeowners looking to save money by adopting energy efficiency measures, perhaps spurred on following last year’s COP21 climate talks, which saw all 200 participating countries commit to cutting carbon emissions. Help your customers understand the best energy saving measures for their homes, including the most efficient way of running their heating and hot water system.
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is still in place so you should be encouraging end users to take the opportunity to go green.
We offer a range of courses to help you deliver renewable technologies.
The only other thing we have to say is…Smart Meters! As the roll-out begins, it could be an opportunity for you to switch careers altogether. There are smart meter training courses for electrical, gas and dual fuel meters, with a range of routes on offer depending on experience. You can find out more here.