Anne Timpany says the plumbing sector needs to do more to encourage women into the profession.
Plumbing can be an attractive career for the so-called ‘fairer sex’, whatever age they are, as long as they are well trained, properly qualified and know what they are doing.
While it’s true that sometimes you need to be fairly strong to carry or fix things, there are already all-female plumbing firms which prove that plumbing is a very viable option that offers well paid, regular work.
On Tap Plumbers has searched a long time for female apprentices and we are about to take on our first this year, but we want more! Although the business is entirely focused on the commercial plumbing sector, we are aware that the domestic marketplace has as much of a need for more female plumbers as we do.
There are many pertinent reasons as to why it’s important to attract more females into the plumbing industry.
We live in a multicultural society and it’s likely that there are circumstances where there are cultural complexities in having a male plumber visit a domestic household. It can also be the same when an older woman is at home alone.
People can feel vulnerable, and a female plumber can greatly reduce stress, as well as help to create an instant rapport between the customer and supplier.
In order to get more young girls to even think about a career in plumbing, we need to reach out to them as early as possible, ideally when they are still at school.
It’s sadly essential to ‘educate the educators’, both teachers and parents, because there are still ingrained attitudes against considering careers in the trades.
Not every child, female or male, is academically minded and many young people would benefit greatly by choosing well paid careers with training and apprenticeships on leaving school, rather than being saddled with massive further education debts by the age of 21.
I would encourage established plumbing firms, whether one man/woman bands or bigger companies, to take on more apprentices in order to inspire the next generation of plumbers. Their enthusiasm, ability and rapport skills with your customers could surprise and delight you.
Anne Timpany is Director at On Tap Plumbers