Inflated salary warning issued to aspiring plumbers

People
who camped out to try to get on plumbing courses have been warned they will not
necessarily earn a fortune.

Hundreds
of people queued to try to get on courses to retrain at Leeds College of
Building. But college staff gave them leaflets warning that stories about
inflated salaries – of up to £80,000 a year – had been exaggerated.

Only
36 places were available on day and evening courses and more than 400 people
applied.

The
leaflets say media reports do not reflect typical incomes, and that most
plumbers earn between £18,000 and £30,000 a year.

A
college spokeswoman told the BBC: "We tell people they can make a
reasonable living as a plumber, but it’s usually nothing like the £70,000 or
£80,000 you see quoted in the media.

"It
will be interesting to see what happens to salaries once the skills gap which
seems to exist closes."

The
college had recently taken on more staff to cope with the demand for plumbing
courses, although training programmes for other trades – especially plastering
and tiling – were also popular, she said.

Earlier
this year, Birmingham University biologist Karl Gensberg left academic life to
retrain as a gas fitter, saying he hoped to double his £23,000 annual salary.

By Mike Berry

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