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Plumbers are indispensable, but there is a high need

Thursday 11 March 2021

Ever-increasing shortage of skilled workers

The profession of plumber is losing popularity in the Netherlands. The profession is often looked down upon and although we cannot really do without them, the social importance of plumbers seems to be fading into the background. If nothing is done, the shortage of professionals in the installation sector could double to 40,000 in the next three to five years, according to chairman Doekle Terpstra of Techniek Nederland. There are about 150,000 professionals working in the installation sector and new personnel are very welcome. According to the UWV, plumber is definitely a promising profession. Despite the corona crisis, it still falls under the professions with hard-to-fill vacancies.

According to CBS figures, fewer and fewer MBO students are enrolled in the engineering sector. This school year, there were 136,544 of them. The sectors economy and health care and welfare are more popular. It is therefore high time that more MBO graduates become interested in a technical study. 

Huge social importance

The social importance of plumbers is enormous, according to Arthur de Leeuw, founder of Zoofy: "Every Dutch household needs a plumber at some point. It is such an incredibly specialised job, that you really want to have it done right, that you don't just start as a do-it-yourselfer. That's why we think it's such a shame that fewer and fewer young people are choosing this wonderful profession. On Plumber's Day, we would therefore like to draw attention to this career choice."

Variety of jobs

In 2020, plumbers were called in 18% more often per hour than in the previous year. The five most frequently picked up jobs include installing faucets, detecting leaks, installing plumbing, connecting drains and fixing sink clogs. "The image of a plumber who only unblocks toilets is outdated. A plumber can be employed for many different jobs and is therefore a specialist," says de Leeuw.  

Zoofy emphasises that the shortage on the labour market does not affect the fixed prices that their platform uses. Customers are always assured that they know in advance what they are getting into. The hourly rates are fixed in advance. In addition, Zoofy applies fixed prices for various jobs.