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Some Prefer Female Plumbers

Females are being encouraged to take plumbing courses as some sections of society feel more comfortable with a woman plumber.

Summit Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the building services engineering sector, estimate that there are approximately 160,000 plumbers in the United Kingdom but less than one per cent are female.

Carol Cannavan, secretary of the Institute of Plumbing and Engineering's Women in Plumbing Group has said that there is great demand for female plumbers and more women should be supported into the industry.

There is a market for female plumbers as certain religious groups prefer to employ women to undertake plumbing jobs, claims Carol Cannavan.

She told the BBC: "We have a register of professional plumbers and we do get people asking specifically for the names of female plumbers. There's a definite need for more of them."

Lorraine Dotchin, a female plumber from Manchester, has said that elderly people also feel safer in the company of women plumbers and this leads to more custom for her services.

She told the Independent: "I get a lot of work from my local plumbing suppliers, and often it's the elderly; they feel very comfortable with a female plumber."

Ms Dotchin decided to take plumbing courses after becoming disillusioned with her previous career as an IT manager for a large law practice and was not put off by the lack of women in the industry.

After completing the appropriate plumbing courses, Ms Dotchin set up her own business Burnage Plumbing and is now in charge of a thriving firm while working fifty hour weeks.

Despite Lorraine Dotchin's success story, Carol Cannavan believes that more needs to be done to tackle people's perception that plumbing is strictly a male profession.

Ms Cannavan told the BBC: "I think it is about getting information into schools and making it clear that it's not just one career, there are so many different things you could become within the industry."

The Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers has told people who are looking at plumbing courses in order to become a qualified tradesman not to choose crash courses as it can take three years to be a fully trained plumber.

A sequence of NVQ plumbing courses must be undertaken to become a qualified plumber with the City & Guilds NVQ 6129 level 2 being the required foundation course for beginners, which allows progression onto NVQ level 3.

LearnDirect said in 2006 that a newly qualified plumber can expect to earn a salary in the region of £20,000 while more experienced plumbers can usually earn around £30,000 per year.

About Author Martin Hofschroer :

Able Skills provide training through green energy courses and plumbing courses. Able Skills have opened an Energy Saving Training Centre to provide approved training on the installation of energy efficient forms of heating and lighting. Able Skills is the largest and best equipped private training provider in the UK.

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Article Added on Saturday, August 21, 2010
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