Plumber shortage sparks campaign to lure women

Britain’s plumber shortage is being tackled head on via a media relations campaign to attract more women to the trade. Entrepreneur Allen Jackson is planning to lure the fairer sex to his new £1.5m training centre, which is endorsed by the DTI.

The Building Trades Skills Centre is the first trade training facility to actively target women as well as men, and Jackson has hired Primal PR to target women's consumer publications. 'We will encourage women to think about plumbing as a realistic career,' said Primal director Natalie McLean-Reid.

It is estimated that 30,000 extra plumbers are needed over the next five years to meet demand.

Experts fear large projects such as the housebuilding programme in the South-East and the 2012 London Olympics could exacerbate the problem.

Jackson said demand for places at the Surrey centre had already been 'immense', suggesting the skills shortage was 'largely down to inadequate supply of training rather than lack of interest'.

Primal will handle the centre's official opening in January and target careers publications.

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