Girls urged to 'Get Plumbing'

A new initiative designed to introduce more women into the plumbing sector has been launched.

Currently, fewer than one per cent of plumbers are female and the industry assurance body WaterSafe is hoping its 'Get Girls Plumbing' campaign will go some way towards addressing this.

The organisation polled 2,000 people to gauge their views on the matter, with nearly a third (31 per cent) of respondents saying they would prefer a woman to carry out work on their home, with "feeling safer" or that they "wouldn't be ripped off" among the main reasons why this was the case.

Other explanations included the perception a female plumber would be less likely to patronise them and they could also be trusted more than their male counterparts.

However - perhaps reassuringly - over three-quarters (77 per cent) of those surveyed said the ability of their plumber was the most important consideration to bear in mind, rather than their gender.

In tandem with this research, WaterSafe also carried out a study across the UK's colleges to determine whether or not girls were being adequately encouraged to take up a trade while they were still in education.

More than one in three (36 per cent) of females revealed they felt as though boys were pushed more towards manual jobs than they were, with nearly half (45 per cent) of all those taking part in the study saying the two genders were not given the same career opportunities during their late teens.

Minister for women and equalities Maria Miller said: "Many trade industries, like plumbing, are still male-dominated, but women and girls should not be restricted by gender stereotypes."

She noted she found the Get Girls Plumbing initiative to be admirable in its attempts to "challenge perceptions" and encourage women who wanted to join the trade to have the "broadest possible aspirations".

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