73% of plumbing and heating professionals have had to turn work away

73% of plumbing and heating professionals turned down work in 2015 according to the latest ECIS annual health check of tradespeople survey that took place in the first quarter of 2016.

  • 73% of people in the plumbing and heating sector have had to turn down work in the past year
  • 36% of plumbers and heating engineers faced more pressure last year
  • Nearly two thirds (62%) are confident about business for the year ahead – the highest level of confidence seen since the survey began
  • 34% earned more in 2015 than in 2014
  • 19% would not encourage a young person to join their industry
  • Over a quarter (26%) of tradespeople regularly work evenings and weekends

In its third Annual Healthcheck of the UK’s contractors and tradespeople, ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction industry has found confidence amongst plumbers and H&V engineers at its highest level since the survey began three years ago with 62% of respondents saying they feel confident about the year ahead.  But behind this upbeat outlook is a workforce under immense strain with 36% saying their business was under increased pressure to fulfil contracts.

Reflecting the increased demand for their skills, many plumbers and H&V engineers saw their work/life balance tip heavily towards work in 2015.  The survey found that over a third (34%) regularly worked evenings and weekends in 2015 with 55% saying they had felt more pressure to do so in the last year.

Reflecting increased work pressures, over a third (34%) had to regularly work evenings and weekends in 2015 with 55% saying they had felt more pressure to do so in the last year.

But despite working longer hours, shockingly, 73% had to turn work away in 2015, and more worryingly, 37% confirmed they had resorted to unskilled labour to help fulfil contracts.

Even more galling for plumbers and H&V engineers is that the hard work did not equate to higher earnings for all.  While 34% earned more in 2015 compared to the year before. This is a slight decrease from the 45% who earned more in 2014 compared to 2013.