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Occupations

Skills gaps are highest for those in skilled trade (61%), administrative (10%) and managerial (9%) occupations. Gaps are reported for technical and practical skills, and particularly customer-handling, problem-solving and management skills.

  • 13% of employers in the sector report vacancies, compared with 18% across all sectors
  • 6% report hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 7% across all sectors
  • in total there are around 8,075 hard-to-fill vacancies reported, which is 1% of employment in the sector
  • 5% report skill shortage vacancies, compared with 5% across all sectors
  • the highest proportion of skills shortage vacancies are for skilled trades (79%)
  • 19% of establishments report skills gaps, compared with 15% across all sectors

The impact of hard-to-fill vacancies is reported to be: increased workload for other staff; delays developing new products; loss of business or orders to competitors; and increased operating costs.

    The basic skills of new entrants is reported to be getting worse, with 57% of employers identifying issues with literacy, numeracy and IT skills. 36% of employers also report problems with the basic skills of existing staff.

    Source: National Employer Skills Survey 2008 and In focus. Key issues affecting the UK-wide building services engineering sector 2008

     

    Sector jobs

    Electrotechnical

    Jobs currently available in the industry include (titles can differ between regions, nations and employers):

    • Installation Electricians install power, lighting, fire protection, security and structured cabling
    • Electrotechnical Panel Builders build the control panels that control building management systems and industrial processes
    • Machine Repair and Rewind Electricians repair and maintain electrical motors which drive equipment and machinery such as compressors, pumps and fans within buildings
    • Instrumentation Electricians commission, test, fault find and repair building management and industrial processing systems
    • Maintenance Electricians maintain modern electrical systems and the equipment they serve to ensure effective and efficient operation
    • Highway Systems Electricians install and maintain street lighting and traffic management systems

    Plumbing

    Jobs currently available in the industry include (titles can vary between regions, nations and employers):

    • Domestic Plumbers (NVQ Level 2) install simple cold water, hot water, sanitation, rainwater, wet central heating systems and sheet lead weathering systems
    • Domestic Plumbers (NVQ Level 3) install complex cold water, hot water, sanitation, heating systems and domestic fuel burning appliances such as gas, oil or solid fuel boilers; design systems and improve business products
    • Industrial and Commercial Plumbers (NVQ Level 3) install industrial and commercial heating, fuel supply, specialist appliances and fire protection systems

    Heating and Ventilating

    Jobs currently available in the industry include (titles can very between regions, nations and employers):

    • Heating Installers install complex heating equipment and pipework systems to exact design specifications within large buildings such as office blocks, hospitals and schools
    • Ductwork Installers install complex ductwork and ventilation systems to exact design specifications within large buildings
    • Domestic Heating Installers install and commission domestic central heating systems and ensure they function correctly and efficiently
    • Service and Maintenance Engineers develop service and maintenance programmes and carry out regular maintenance and repairs on all Heating and Ventilating systems and equipment

    Air conditioning and Refrigeration

    Jobs currently available in the industry include (titles can vary between regions, nations and employers):

    • Refrigeration Engineers install, service and maintain refrigeration systems in places such as supermarkets, hospitals, food processing plants and research establishments
    • Air Conditioning Engineers install, service and maintain systems and equipment which control and maintain the quality, temperature and humidity of air within modern buildings

    Source: Summitskills AACS LMI report 2010

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    Salaries

    Pay scales in the industry vary depending on the employer, the number of hours you are prepared to work, your location, qualifications and experience, and any company bonus schemes. The following are intended to be a guide.

    Electrotechnical

    • First-year apprentices start on around £8,000 a year
    • Newly-qualified workers earn around £17,000 a year
    • Experienced workers earn around £30,000 a year

    Plumbing

    • First-year apprentices start on around £10,000 a year
    • Newly-qualified plumbers earn around £17,000 a year
    • Experienced plumbers earn around £30,000 a year

    Heating and Ventilating

    • First-year apprentices will earn between £9,100 and £11,250 a year
    • Newly-qualified installers earn around £20,000 a year
    • Experienced engineers earn between £22,000 and £24,000 a year

    Air conditioning and Refrigeration

    • First-year apprentices start on around £10,000 a year
    • Newly-qualified workers earn between £20,000 and £27,000 a year
    • Experienced workers earn around £30,000 a year

    More information on salary levels can be found on the Joint Industry Board (JIB) website and the Unite the Union website.

    Source: Summitskills AACS LMI report 2010

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    Occupational roles and sources of information

    On the Good Day website run by Summitskills website there are the Electrotechnical and Building Services Engineer job profiles.

    The National Careers Service website also has detailed occupational profiles for some occupations in the construction and the engineering and manufacturing sections. These profiles include information on entry points, training, working environment, employment opportunities and expected annual salary.

    Graduate Prospects: the UK graduate careers website. The section of the Prospects website entitled engineering and manufacturing details the past, present and future issues of the sector, lists key roles and occupations as well as case studies and further contacts for the sector.

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