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Shortage of quality plumbing apprentices in Auckland

12 September 2018
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With a shortage of quality plumbers in the Auckland region, Masterlink are on the hunt for apprentices.

Masterlink, an apprenticeship programme run by Master Plumbers, are looking for people in Auckland wanting to pursue a trade in the plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying industries.

New Zealand needs around 60,000 tradespeople over the next five years and is suffering from a major shortage of skilled plumbers, especially in Auckland. In Auckland the plumbing workforce needs to grow by nearly 40% by 2021 to keep up with current demand.

Greg Wallace, Chief Executive of Master Plumbers says, "The current shortage of plumbers means that the career prospects for all plumbers are excellent. Plumbers are in high demand, and there is a certain level of job security which other career paths cannot offer."

Kate Jenkins, Masterlink Operations Manager, says plumbing is a great career option, not only for those who are leaving school, but also for people who have been to university or tried out another career path and have realised it is not working for them.

"In New Zealand the average age of a plumbing apprentice is actually 23 years old. So, we have seen many apprentices come through Masterlink who have been to university or have been working in other professions."

Masterlink aim to give apprentices the best start in their careers. Apprentices earn while they learn, their training fees are covered, and each apprentice will also receive a starter tool kit. Masterlink also place apprentices in local plumbing firms and offer continued support throughout the programme.

Ezra Jordan, 24 from Auckland, is half way through his plumbing and gasfitting apprenticeship with Masterlink. He says that he was unsure where he wanted his career to go after school.

"All my friends were going to university, and I thought maybe that is what I would have to do to get ahead. I loved the idea of university, but I didn’t see a career coming out of it. After about a year I started looking at a career in the trades instead. I couldn’t have done it without Masterlink. They provide job security and kind of give you a kick start."

Newly qualified plumbers in New Zealand who have finished their apprenticeships earn around $50k per year, and their wages rise as they gain experience. Experienced, Certifying Plumbers are likely to earn more than $75,000, while experienced self-employed plumbers earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year, or even more.

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