Approximately two-thirds of UK building companies have had to turn down work projects due to the fact that there is a shortage of tradesmen in the UK. The UK is now in a trade worker crisis which hasn’t been the case for some decades.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of young people are now choosing to stay in education longer with the aim of receiving higher wages; therefore, the amount of aspiring tradesman is at an all-time low.
“Bricklayers have dropped by 19% since 2009, and window cleaners are down by 18%”
This is putting many trade businesses at risk as they are often having to refuse work due to the shortage of employees available to undertake the job. The shortage is evident in industries such as plumbing, carpentry and bricklaying. Those entering the bricklaying industry has dropped by a whopping 19% since 2009 and window cleaners are down by 18%.
Due to the fact that the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, it is expected that the shortage will worsen over time. Kevin Green, REC chief executive claims “If Britain leaves the EU there’s no doubt that recruitment for some construction roles will become even more of a challenge.”
As there are fewer and fewer people entering the trade industry, current workers will be rubbing their hands together as they may reap larger pay packets. The low-wage presumption of working in trade is not entirely relevant in today’s standards. Workers with approximately 5 years’ experience in the industry can earn up to £31,000 per year, or up to £52,000 in London; which are figures not to be sniffed at.
“There is a plea for youngsters to think about entering a trade after school”
Workers could be paid up to £25 per hour due to the shortage of tradesmen, meaning youngsters could earn a higher salary than a job studied for at university. For consumers who may moan about the prices of services, it appears that there is a valid reason as to why they are paying over the odds for jobs. It seems that employers are increasing their rates of pay in order to beat competition from other companies so they may secure jobs.
There is a plea for youngsters coming out of school to think about entering a trade in order to recover from financial crisis, especially in the housing market. “The industry is recruiting heavily to ensure it can maintain and build on the increases in housing supply we have seen over the past two years,” said a Home Builders Federation spokesman. Yet, due to the lack of UK workers, some firms are hiring from abroad, such as Portugal. Foreign workers are earning up to £1000 a week, which is double the average UK salary due to the desperation of finding suitable employees.
1 million new engineers and technicians will be needed by 2020, the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests. This is double the amount that is currently needed. Yet the outlook doesn’t appear to be hopeful if university continues to be a priority in the coming years.
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