Most new sweeps who enter the trade are usually forced to set up their own business.
But we understand self-employment isn’t for everyone – that’s why we’ve launched the Mr Soot Training Academy Programme.
Thought to be a UK first, it sets out a clear career pathway for those considering entering the world of chimneys and solid fuel.
So if you do fancy making the leap, here’s just 10 of the many benefits of being an employed chimney sweep…
#1 – No Financial Outlay
Unlike being employed, chimney sweeps who work for themselves have to supply everything for their work.
The list is seemingly endless – their own van, sweeping kit, power tools, consumables, PPE; as well as sorting out multiple insurances.
And don’t forget, if you want to be a professional, registered sweep, you need to fund the training and certifications.
Paying for all this isn’t cheap. Indeed you’re looking at thousands of pounds even before you’ve swept your first chimney.
And then you’ve got to sweep a heck of a lot of them to claw that money back, not to mention keeping on top of the running costs going forward.
#2 – Guaranteed Wage
Sweeping is a very seasonal job for many – even more so if you start out on your own.
Without a regular customer base to fall back on, there can be many fallow months financially. During this time, paying your household bills can be tough, and at the same time, you’re not even making a dent in the initial outlay for your equipment and business overheads.
Being an employed sweep takes all that stress away, guaranteeing a regular wage regardless of seasonal workflow fluctuations.
#3 – Bespoke, Real-Time Support
As an employee learning a new skill, you’ll regularly find yourself having to ask for help and advice. But who do you turn to if you’re on your own?
You may not know anyone in the industry or, even if you do, you may be reticent to ask for advice.
When working for a company, you have work colleagues who can share their knowledge almost instantly.
A company has staff with a wealth of experience, and you will be able to tap into that as part of the team.
Our company owner David is an experienced, qualified sweep who firmly believes there’s no such thing as a silly question, as every day’s a school day!
#4 – Camaraderie
This is an often overlooked issue, but working as a one-person band can be extremely lonely.
You have very few people, if any, to bounce off in the beginning as not many will understand the challenges you’re facing.
When you work for a company, you are all in the same boat. You support each other and give each other a lift when it’s needed.
Being part of a team is a massive boost to your overall mental health and well-being.
At Mr Soot, we’re big on providing that underpinning practical and emotional support for our colleagues.
#5 – Helping To Care For The Environment
Many solo sweeps cover quite large geographical areas, which means long journeys.
But for companies who employ sweeps, they tend to undertake shorter journeys with appointments packed into tighter geographical areas.
Since we started growing Mr Soot, our vehicle fuel bills have reduced dramatically.
And since our fleet has low emission vehicles in it, this means that, all together, we’re doing our bit to be as green as possible!
#6 – Providing Better Customer Service
There’s nothing worse than turning up to an appointment only to be berated about appointment waiting times.
For single-person operations, this can stretch into months at certain times of the year.
Whereas for companies like Mr Soot, we can usually get to customers very fast – sometimes within 24 hours. Now that’s fantastic customer service which very few can match.
This means that not only will customers be happier and less stressed, but you won’t get a regular ear-bashing!
#7 – It’s A Rewarding Role
We can’t compile this list without pointing out just what a rewarding role being an employed chimney sweep can be.
Working as part of an experienced team, you can help keep people’s homes safe, solve their chimney-related problems and help provide them with bespoke solutions.
You’ll also be working in a very niche trade. Indeed, many other tradespeople are absolutely fascinated by our work, and will make a point of stopping to chat to us about it.
There are very few trades which are steeped in so much heritage and history, and we’re very proud of that.
#8 – No ‘After Hours’ Admin
Imagine coming in from a full day of appointments and having to start on several hours of ringing customers, chasing orders, unpaid invoices, banking, setting appointments and so on.
One-person bands usually spend a full day working ‘in’ the business, and then whole evenings working ‘on’ the business.
When you’re an employee, you have colleagues who do all that as part of their own roles. We have admin staff, ordering staff, bookings staff, marketing staff and managerial staff.
So you are free to just concentrate on your own role, and then go home to spend those precious evenings and weekends doing what you want.
#9 – Paid Holidays/Time Off
Self employed people only get paid when they work. But when you’re an employee, you actually have a right, enshrined in law, to paid leave.
The current minimum in the UK is 25 days a year. But at Mr Soot, we go further than that. We give all employees Bank Holidays off, without insisting it comes from your statutory allowance.
And on top of that, we give each staff member their birthday off – and if it falls on a weekend/Bank Holiday they can move it to a normal work day so they don’t miss out!
#10 – Dedicated Career Pathway
Up until recently, chimney sweeping was seen as a ‘job’. But the industry is changing, and, at Mr Soot, we’re at the forefront of that change.
That’s why we launched the Mr Soot Training Academy Programme, which sets out a distinctive career pathway for our employees.
Starting out as a Trainee Chimney Sweep, you have the opportunity to work your way up to Lead Technician or even managerial level.
We believe this is badly needed in our industry, and are proud to be pioneering this approach.
The chimney sweeping industry is changing. Be part of that change.