Don’t let AI take your job, become a building services installer

Building services is an ‘AI beating choice for the next generation’, says Logic4training’s Director, Mark Krull:

The adoption of automated technologies, robotics and large language models, like ChatGPT, are expected to reshape the global labour market with up to 60% of jobs affected, according to recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis.

“This may not be as bad as speculative headlines would imply. Many roles – including most trades – will be enhanced by the introduction of new technologies, in some cases leading to net job creation.”

Are you worried about AI?

More than half of young people are worried about the impact AI could have on their future careers, according to the Digital Youth Index 2023, with this concern particularly prevalent for those in higher Education at 61%.

Despite fears for their future, very few young people consider a career in the trades – just 13% of 16 – 25-year-olds, according to recent research from Kingfisher.

What makes building services safe from Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

People will always need water, heat and power in their homes, and it seems unlikely that robots are going to replace an in-person visit from a tradesperson anytime soon. While AI can perform factory tasks with precision, it lacks the dexterity involved with installing a heating system.

Tradespeople need the ability to problem-solve in complex situations, to think on their feet and adapt quickly to unforeseen problems. This level of unpredictability means that human presence will always be required.

Does that mean building services is ‘backwards’?

Digital tech is already being widely used within the trades. Consumers have been benefitting from ‘smart homes’ for a while. There are now apps in development that help installers with the calculations so essential to specification and installation, particularly regarding our increasing demand for energy efficiency.

Building services is not ‘backwards’; it’s just an industry that happily benefits from technological advancements rather than experiencing them as a threat to people’s livelihoods.

With the march of ever more advanced renewables and smart controls, there’s plenty to get your teeth into if your technically minded.

Is building services a future-proof career choice?

In short, yes!

Apart from not being negatively affected by AI, there is a huge demand for skilled tradespeople; in fact, the UK needs 250,000 more tradespeople by 2030.

The building services engineering sector is a critical industry with a central role to play in net zero. If we do not have enough people with heating, plumbing and electrical engineering skills, we will not be able to deliver the low carbon heat and power required to reduce the carbon emissions from domestic buildings, currently around 26% of total emissions in the UK.

And while you might not think starting your career as a gas apprentice doesn’t sound very ‘green’, you’d be wrong. Gas engineers are heating engineers, and the skills you learn as a gas installer are transferable to renewables like heat pumps.

Once you’ve done gas, it’s very easy to add low carbon heating options to your skill set.

For now, gas is still the predominant heating choice in the UK, providing plenty of work. To succeed in the current and future jobs market, you must be multi-skilled.

Become an AI beating apprentice!

To help more people access the building services sector, we have launched a new apprenticeship programme for 19+ year-olds. Starting this summer, we are currently offering apprenticeships in gas engineering and smart metering.

Find out more, here.

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