Brian's blog has a post on increasing numbers of folks in Britain seeking to become plumbers, including a university biologist who hopes to double his salary. I've posted on this before: why don't we give kids who are not focused on college a chance to accomplish something meaningful in high school. Becoming a licensed plumber might be a good option.
Update: Both Brian and a commenter suggest the response will be to make plumbing a college course. Of course! Make sure kids who don't want to go to college have no options! What a plan!