Summer in the UK marks an important transition for young people.

Have you just left school or college for the final time? Once you have decompressed from a busy exam period, you will have some exciting choices to make about your future pathway and career. 

Will you stay in education and go to uni? Or have you considered training as a gas engineer, plumber or electrician and entering the workforce?

To explore the decision further, we asked some of our Facebook followers – a strong cohort of experienced installers and industry insiders, with a working knowledge of the trades:

‘Why do you think people leaving school should consider learning a trade instead of going to university?’

The question sparked some interesting insight…

The trades – a gateway to future technologies

“Because Gas Engineers are the future ASHP and Hydrogen Engineers, with transition already in motion. Until those things get up to speed, there’s Natural Gas and LPG and lots of ASHP to work on for the shorter term.”

“Multi skilled individuals working on gas, electrical and renewables which would realistically have to include refrigerated circuits and the skills required to work on them, are the future of our industry.

“It’s very exciting from a technical perspective… lots of solutions require new software to integrate with controls, switching etc that doesn’t yet exist and so there are huge opportunities across various disciplines.”

Schools push the uni route – but it doesn’t serve us all!

For too long now, a university degree has been seen as the only path to a successful career, but this narrow view of further education lets down a swathe of school leavers with practical skills and doesn’t reflect the reality of the British labour market or the needs of our society. 

“…I think the main issue is there’s no awareness about the construction industry for school leavers, everyone is pushed towards university. There is limited knowledge about plumbing/electrical apprenticeships and it’s only people that have relatives in the trades that get involved in construction.” 

“Having worked in schools there is little value impressed on working in trades and high value placed on going to university and pursuing academics.”

“The trades, as far as high school kids are concerned, is presented as ‘low value’ and where those who are not clever go… that teaching model is breaking our society.”

“To have people value the trades – and let’s face it, our society would not be here without them – they have to be valued at high school. This isn’t about devaluing university either as they are part of the whole.”

We all have a responsibility to encourage young people into the trades

A difficulty finding work experience opportunities or apprenticeships was seen as a barrier by some:

“It seems so few companies are willing to take on people to build them up.”

While we have little control over funding and regulatory issues, what we can do is provide opportunities for young people to gain valuable skills and learn a trade for life. 

This does not have to be to the detriment of a business, in fact, investing in the next generation of gas engineers, plumbers and electricians can benefit businesses by injecting new ideas, passions and interests and helping them to develop new services and adapt company culture for the future. 

“I think one of the big problems is there’s not nearly enough apprenticeships kicking about…”

Logic4training’s gas managed learning programme (MLP) provides an alternative to the apprenticeship pathway, where learners work alongside an experienced gas safe registered engineer to build a portfolio as part of their training. We can help you to arrange a suitable work placement, something that is included in our Gold and Platinum packages. 

Don’t let the press agenda influence you!

“Why would youngsters want to join an industry that’s going to end soon, or so they are told. No more gas and oil.”

Headlines over the past few years have repeatedly referenced the ‘gas boiler ban’ leading many to worry that the jobs of gas engineers will be obsolete in a matter of a couple of years – this could not be further from the truth!

Gas boilers will be around for many decades yet, but ultimately, gas is just a fuel. Whatever technologies take its place, heating engineers are best placed to deliver. Experience in gas is the perfect foundation (and in many cases essential) to upskill to new technologies, such as air source heat pumps. 

Listen to advice, follow your heart

“To answer the question ‘Why do you think people leaving school should consider learning a trade instead of going to university?’ It would be placing people where their aptitudes lie, which makes good, happy tradesmen who enjoy their work and get satisfaction from it.”

Uni is great for many, but it’s not for everyone. You know in your heart whether you are ready for 3+ years of essay writing, exams and academia, or whether you are ready to learn a trade, enter the workforce and start earning.

Ready to begin your new career as a plumber or gas engineer?

There are some great opportunities in the trades right now. We are on the cusp of an energy transition that will see millions of low-carbon electric heating systems installed in the next three decades.

Multi-skilled tradespeople are in high demand and will have a huge impact on future society.

Take a look at our new entrants training courses and choose your path to the future, or get in touch to discuss your options. 

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