Four years ago, everyone was saying it. Forget media studies, plumbing was the thing to study for those who wanted rich rewards. Colleges reported a flood of applications to study the inner workings of the cistern, as tales of six-figure salaries for plumbers appeared in the newspapers, and City boys abandoned their desks to retrain in overalls. Now the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors has revealed that almost 25,000 trainee plumbers could soon find themselves out of work. But will institutions and students learn to ignore the hype? It is supposed to be mining next, with students eagerly queueing to go underground.