As part of our partnership with Trade-up, we were recently involved in some enlightening research exploring the challenges and opportunities of the domestic building services engineering sector.
Trade-up is an industry initiative that brings together the UK’s top independent trades training providers, including Logic4training! Its aim is to find solutions to the chronic skills gap that stems from the construction sector and filters down into building services engineering and the trades.
Results from the Trade-Up (2023) Employment Sentiment Survey revealed fascinating insight into the barriers preventing people from entering the sector and the factors that might enable more new entrants to train for the trades.
How many new entrants do we need?
The building services engineering sector – including plumbing, heating and electrical engineering – is facing a significant skills shortage, with many employers struggling to find suitably qualified and experienced staff.
The heating landscape is changing as we head towards net zero. Low-carbon technologies and renewables, such as air source heat pumps and solar PV, are becoming more popular and many homeowners are prioritising energy efficiency and sustainability when replacing old heating systems.
There is also a lack of diversity in the sector, with women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds underrepresented in the workforce, which limits the talent pool available to businesses and employers.
While demand for gas heating is expected to remain strong, over the next two decades, many experienced heating engineers will upskill to incorporate new technologies. To fill the gaps left behind, we need new trainees to come through the ranks – at least 186,000 every year, according to a CIBSE whitepaper.
Trade-Up (2023) Employment Sentiment Survey – the results
Why do new entrants want to join the skilled trades?
The top three reasons that people want to join the building services engineering sector are:
- Flexibility – 38% said they would like the flexibility of a trades career with the potential to become self-employed (25%) or work from different countries (26%).
- Earning potential – 32% said the salary prospects were good and 30% highlighted the stability of the sector.
- Opportunity for progression – the rapid growth of the sector was a key factor for 30% of people, with green roles in solar PV and heat pumps in high demand (23%).
What barriers are preventing them?
The top three barriers to entering the building services engineering sector are:
- Cost – 33% said retraining is too expensive.
- Inability to ‘earn and learn’ – 33% said it would be difficult to generate sufficient income whilst retraining.
- Time – 29% said it takes too long to retrain.
What would enable new entrants to train for the trades?
The top three factors that would enable more new entrants to join the sector are:
- Help beyond the training centre – 36% of people said access to work opportunities with existing tradespeople would build confidence and 27% would like support with the next steps in their career, for example, starting their own business.
- Financial assistance – 34% said funding opportunities, in the form of government schemes or training initiatives, or low-interest loans to cover training costs, would improve access to training.
- Quick qualification – 29% said faster routes to becoming qualified would motivate them to seek training.
Get a leg-up on the career ladder from Logic4training!
Changing career is a daunting prospect and fitting in training around existing home or work commitments can be a challenge.
Our new entrant programmes are designed to break down barriers and make learning a trade an achievable goal for everyone:
- Flexible courses run on weekdays and weekends to suit your needs
- Spread the cost of your training at a competitive rate or even interest free, from as little as £140 per month
- Free introductory sessions
- Post-course modules available to all new entrants, covering everything from employing staff to setting up a website
- 12 months free Checkatrade with some training packages
- Signed up to the LCL Awards Inclusivity Charter, which means we are committed to making our centres welcoming and inclusive
Recognised routes to qualification
Our Gas Managed Learning Programme (MLP) is structured programme of guided learning designed to meet the requirements for new entrants the gas industry.
Alongside the apprenticeship pathway, it is a recognised entry route to the Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) and subsequent registration with Gas Safe Register – and can be completed much more quickly.
We offer four training packages to suit a variety of needs – how to become a Gas Engineer.