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Plumbing is Labour's UK No.1 priority - and Conservative's new promise plan!

Once again, the priorities of learning key trade skills, plumbing and electrical, are up in the spotlight, as both the Labour Government and the Conservative opposition announce welcome plans to boost youth training across the UK.

It was only a few weeks ago that the government held an awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of Britain's best apprenticeships, where the skills secretary, John Denham, described apprenticeships in areas like plumbing as "critical" to the country's success.

Now, the Conservative party are getting in on the act by announcing that they will put plumbing at the top of the agenda by promising an additional 100,000 apprenticeships, some of which will be in the trade.

David Cameron has launched the green paper plans, which would also see plumbers working with other small businesses such as electricians when providing the training schemes. Shadow skills secretary David Willetts said learning skills like plumbing could help improve social mobility. He continued: "Many of our social problems stem from the disengagement of young people and we want to provide more opportunities, particularly to young men, to get them off the streets and on their way in life."

Estimates vary for the current skills shortages around the UK but figures quoted range from 32,100 plumbers required to 36,900 electricians required!

It simply is the case that Colleges do not have the capacity to train the yearly requirement of new plumbers with only space for about 3,000 trainee vacancies per annum of which, it has been claimed, only 50% finish the course and go on to work in the industry.

This can only mean recognizing the growing importance of a training centre like AbleSkills to supply vital human resources to the UK construction trades industry, especially when coming out of recession.

AbleSkills is one the country's fully accredited and approved City & Guilds NVQ course providers, and as a result of their success have just recently opened brand new expanded training facilities to accommodate the increasing demand for both plumbing and electrical training.