WaterSafe has pledged its full support to young tradespeople entering the industry, following new research which reveals that many parents think having a plumbing qualification is better than a degree.

The research, detailed recently in The Telegraph, suggests that parents think teenagers who train as plumbers have a better chance of a good job than those graduating in law and history, but 45% still want their child to go to University rather than do an apprenticeship (16%). A survey of 3,500 parents by the charity Edge and the City & Guilds Group, found 53% thought a law degree was "very employable", down to 8% for a history degree.

Launched in October 2013, WaterSafe is an online search facility designed with the dual remit of providing recognition for competent plumbers and protecting consumers seeking plumbing work by offering the assurance of a qualified professional every time. Consumers just need to visit the website (www.watersafe.org.uk), put in their postcode and they can access their nearest WaterSafe plumber.

For new plumbers starting out, WaterSafe offers the ultimate stamp of approval. As the first step to being WaterSafe approved, eligible plumbers who join up to an Approved Contractors' Scheme, such as WIAPS, APHC, CIPHE, or SNIPEF, will be offered WaterSafe registration as an added bonus free of charge.

Alternatively, the BPEC QCF Level 3 Award in Safe Systems of Hot and Cold Water and Sanitation offers an alternate entry path.

Following a WaterSafe study in October 2013, which found that nearly a quarter (23%) of homeowners have fallen victim to rogue plumbers with the average job costing £426 to rectify, the scheme is designed to drive out rogue traders and refocus industry standards.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe, said: "It is interesting to see that today's parents think teenagers who train as plumbers have a better chance of getting a good job than those graduating in law and history.

During these challenging times, it is vital that young people think about the different career options that are available, rather than just considering going to university or straight into work. Learning a trade is a fantastic option that will give young people a skill for life as well as a flexible career.

"As a scheme committed to refocusing standards in the plumbing industry and giving talented plumbers the credit they deserve, we would welcome more youngsters taking up a reputable trade such a plumbing; providing a safe and vital service to the community."