UK tradespeople are optimistic about the future, with 82% expecting business activity to remain at the same level or grow over the next 12 months; additionally, nearly half (45%) report being busier than last year. However, research conducted by trade retailer, Screwfix, has revealed the majority of tradespeople (57%) are reporting difficulties in recruiting staff to support them. This is primarily due to:
– a lack of focus on encouraging new people to train in the trades
– not enough local skilled tradespeople
– too much red tape.
Nearly all (94%) tradespeople said they would recommend a career in the trade and of the reasons why, 85% say they have a strong sense of achievement when a job is done, and 80% enjoy seeing the results of their hard work.
Graham Bell, CEO of Screwfix, comments: “When we speak to tradespeople across our 546 stores, they reflect what these findings show us. Tradespeople tell us they have full work diaries, but many struggle to recruit skilled employees when looking to support their growing business, so, it is clear that focused efforts are needed to drive recruitment and training into the trades.”
Screwfix supports the trade however it can, so alongside practical support, such as opening a store at the rate of one per week, to bring Screwfix even closer, it offers ‘Your Guide to Hiring an Apprentice’, a free, bitesize guide, available in stores for those tradespeople who may be looking to take on an apprentice. To further shine a light on those hardworking new entrants to the trade, it also holds an annual Trade Apprentice competition where a £10,000 business start-up kit is up for grabs. In addition, to support skills growth in the construction trade, Screwfix has recently started to work with colleges directly, partnering locally first with Yeovil College. It has invested in the Screwfix Trade Skills Centre, a new purpose-built site for students studying the pilot Screwfix Trade Academy course, which covers bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and electrical contracting. The first recruits started in September 2017.
Screwfix is also looking at other ways it can support the trade and will be launching further initiatives in the future.
Screwfix | screwfix.com