Over 70% of installers think a career in gas is a good choice, according to a survey we undertook at the end of last year. The findings also show a shifting industry, with over half of respondents (54%) starting to think about upskilling into renewables and low-carbon heating technologies.

We asked our own customer-base, as well as PHPI readers, and the findings show that despite dubious headlines regarding ‘gas bans’, trades people still have lot of confidence in our sector’s future, in fact 83% would recommend a career in building services to school-leavers.

Set against the backdrop of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, Logic4training was keen to find out how installers felt about Government plans to accelerate the take-up of heat pumps and other renewables – 44% planned to develop their business as a result of this scheme.

Of the 54% who said they had started to upskill into renewables, or planned to soon, heat pump training was by far the most popular technology (91%) but installers also expressed an interested in solar thermal (47%) and solar PV (26%).

Installers also reported a shift in consumer interest, with 59% stating that their customers were asking more questions about renewables and low-carbon technologies.

Installer concerns

The installers who did not intend to upskill (55%) stated a lack of confidence in government schemes as the main reason. Tradespeople have been bitten before by ill-thought-out consumer incentives and the survey results reflected this: only 38% of installers saw the imminent Boiler Upgrade Scheme as a positive move.

Mark Krull, Director for Logic4training said: “The heating industry is on the cusp of great changes that will see a transition from gas and oil to greener alternatives, such as hydrogen and electric heat pumps. It’s great to see that the majority building services installers are feeling positive, predicting strong demand for plumbing and heating skills.

“Ultimately, gas is just a fuel. Whatever technologies take its place, heating engineers are best placed to deliver low-carbon heating solutions. With 85% of UK homes heated by gas, what we need now is more newly qualified gas engineers to secure the supply chain. Experience in gas is the perfect grounding to then move into other areas.

“Existing plumbing and heating installers should really be thinking about becoming multi-skilled, but what’s clear from our findings is that Government must do more to instil confidence in its plans; without a strong installer base, low-carbon schemes will fall flat.”

Key findings:

  • 83% would recommend a career in building services to someone leaving school
  • 71% of building services installers feel a career in gas is a good choice
  • 54% plan to or have already trained in heat pumps or renewables
  • 59% said their customers were asking more questions about low-carbon heating
  • 38% think the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a positive move
  • 44% plan to develop their business due to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Download the full survey results, here: Download

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