The £150,000 plumbers: Pimlico Plumbers goes on hiring spree after post-lockdown boom in home improvements
- London-based firm has seen customer callouts soar by fifth this year to 120,000
- It said the boom in bookings made the £150,000 annual pay a ‘realistic figure’
- Pimlico’s engineers are paid per job, based on hourly rates which start at £120
It’s a salary fit for a City slicker – but now a plumbing firm is hiring tradesmen who could earn £150,000 a year for fixing boilers and clearing drains.
London-based Pimlico Plumbers has seen customer callouts soar by a fifth this year to 120,000, and it is recruiting 50 skilled engineers to meet the demand.
It said the £150,000 annual pay for new recruits was ‘a realistic figure’ due to the boom in bookings as customers carried out maintenance and home improvements they had put on hold over the pandemic.
Chief executive Scott Mullins said: ‘From the moment lockdown restrictions began to lift and people realised they couldn’t spend their money on travelling abroad, improving or repairing their homes became a priority. The phones have been ringing red hot.’
Pimlico’s engineers are paid per job, based on hourly rates. Plumbing starts at £120 an hour on weekdays, rising to £200 for late-night callouts.
The plumber takes about half of the fee, with the rest going to the company.
Before the pandemic, Pimlico’s top earner was paid more than £200,000.
The company employs some 300 tradesmen and it said up to a fifth of them could earn at least £150,000 this year.
London-based Pimlico Plumbers has seen customer callouts soar by a fifth this year to 120,000, and it is recruiting 50 skilled engineers to meet the demand
The firm has branched out from plumbing to offer services such as mending fridges, installing CCTV and plastering.
It hit record revenues of some £50 million over the year to May, generating a profit of about £8 million.
But Mr Mullins said he was struggling to find skilled staff, with the pool of experienced engineers ‘ever-decreasing’ due to a lack of Government investment in apprenticeship schemes.
He warned that the shortage had created ‘a major skills time-bomb that’s about to go off’, adding: ‘If 50 experienced tradespeople walked through our door tomorrow, we’d have them inducted, in uniform and in a Pimlico van immediately.
‘Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that because the number of engineers is sadly limited.’
Chairman Charlie Mullins, a former Tory donor, founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 and built up a list of celebrity clients including actors Hugh Laurie and Keira Knightley.
Earlier this year, he enforced a ‘no jab, no job’ policy for staff, arguing it will protect them and customers.
He said: ‘Any staff who have not had the jab by January 1 will be given the boot to protect our staff and customers and for the good of the country.
‘Firing people who refuse to have the jab may seem a bit strong, and it is, but for good reason. The whole population needs to be vaccinated – it’s as simple as that.’
This month he criticised the Government’s plans to ban gas boilers within 14 years in favour of eco-friendly heat pumps or hydrogen boilers.
He called the target ‘so unobtainable that consumers and businesses like Pimlico can’t begin to take them seriously’, adding: ‘Heat pumps cannot currently produce the energy to heat water sufficiently, and there is even the suggestion they may increase the risks from legionnaire’s disease.’
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