Customers Rate Age above Qualifications When Choosing a Plumber

With the ever-present threat of rogue installers, WaterSafe is warning consumers that age is no indication of professional kudos when choosing a plumber.

According to a new study by the leading plumbing assurance scheme, age is a huge factor for homeowners when choosing a plumber with exactly half (50%) admitting they would prefer a plumber aged between 36-49 years old. This was shortly followed by the over 50’s (24%) and those aged between 26-35 (21%).

In stark contrast, it would seem it’s more a case of busted than trusted for the industry’s younger generation with a mere 4% of respondents saying they trust traders aged between 18-25 years old most of all.

Interestingly, the poll shows the majority favoured fitters in their forties with the nation’s most trusted age for a tradesperson being 41 years old.   

Worryingly, however, when it comes to checking on the most important aspect of all – the qualifications of a plumber to ensure they’re fit to do the job – the survey reveals homeowners are happy to throw caution to the wind with 70% not checking their credentials. This is despite WaterSafe’s estimates that rogue plumbers alone have cost the nation£2.6billion in recent years.

Julie Spinks, director at WaterSafe, comments: “When it comes to the trade industry, there has always been an inherent degree of ageism – whereby it may be easy to assume that older traders, in having acquired years of experience, are more trustworthy. 
“However, the reality is the age of a tradesman is irrelevant – it’s all about their professional qualifications and skills set.  After all, each year we continue to see truly gifted, hardworking younger installers enter the industry – and their talent must not be overlooked.”
She adds: “Ultimately, the most important factor is to check a prospective plumber’s credentials to ensure they are qualified to do the job in hand. All homeowners need to search our website type in their postcode and they’ll find several approved plumbing businesses in their areas.”

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), as part of WaterSafe, has recently launched a new level 3 Apprenticeship standard for Plumbing and Domestic heating Technicians as part of the Government’s Trailblazer programme. The aim is work in collaboration with industry to create a succinct and easier platform for new entrants looking to join the industry.

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