The industry fears the government's latest budget cuts could lead to plumbing courses at colleges being axed.

The government's announcement that it will cut training budgets for adult learners by up to 25% could help the rogue training industry thrive, says 1st Action Plumbing chairman Richard Clarke.

Clarke is concerned that budget cuts will lead to colleges having to axe plumbing courses.

"The plumbing industry is only going to suffer from these training cuts as it means that companies offering fast-track courses for large sums of money will be able to prey more easily on those looking to get into the industry," Clarke said.

"Our industry is prone to cowboys and under-trained, unreliable plumbers, and preventing people from getting into the industry the correct way – through a college course or apprenticeship – is only going to make the problem worse.

"The learning and skills industry saw a significant rise throughout the recession, with workers who have been made redundant signing up to learn a new trade or skill, so this news will come as a blow to many people."