THE Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) has revealed it has seen ‘markedly’ increased diversity amongst its most recently recruited apprentice plumbers.
Alongside a record number of new apprenticeships for 2021/22 – 400 compared to 150 in 2020/21 – the proportion of female apprentices rose to 2.24% of the total, compared to just 1.34% the previous year.
The proportion of apprentices of Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) heritage has also risen – from 0.67% of the total to 0.75%.
Dale Thomson, apprentice training manager at SNIPEF, said, “Nine female apprentices, compared to just two in the previous year and three BAME apprentices compared to only one in 2020-21 is a clear indicator that we are slowly but surely moving in the right direction to improve the diversity of our sector. There is clearly still a long way to go but we find it encouraging that women, in particular, are increasingly enthusiastic about training to become qualified plumbers.”
Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of SNIPEF, added, “It is highly encouraging to witness a clear trend towards greater diversity in our sector. I am confident that as more and more individuals from diverse backgrounds elect to undertake a plumbing apprenticeship, they will act also as a spur to yet more women and people of BAME heritage to embrace the satisfaction and long-term earnings potential of becoming qualified to undertake such a socially responsible role.”