Over the years, the UK economy has suffered from a severe shortage of skilled labor, but where, and why?
However it's not all bad news, a labour shortage leads to higher wages, good leads and regular work. Especially as the country starts to build back after the covid pandemic and confidence rises in the UK.
Technology is also rapidly transforming the lifestyle of people and also reshaping their workplace. So, it is not impossible to predict the next 20 years that the UK labour market could explode as trade skills really take off.
So with this in mind, we take a look at the trade sectors with the most job openings / demand.
Where is there a shortage?
The sectors with the largest number of open jobs are:
- Building and Construction, including brick laying
- Power including solar PV and green energy
These sectors account for an amazing 20% of the UK's total number of open jobs as Britain builds back after the Covid pandemic.
Larger trade and construction companies are struggling to find workers with good skills. This is driving employers pay a high price to ensure that the organisations have the trained employees required to remain productive.
The electrical industry is the worst affected by the skills shortage, and apprenticeship schemes fail to train enough candidates to meet the growing demand. The shortage of electricians means that they have become more valuable and have more vital jobs and wages rising.
What is causing the construction skills shortage?
The UK construction workforce is an aging one, with over 20% of our tradespeople being over fifty and 15% being in their sixties. The problem is a simple one, as these electricians, builders and plumbers retire, the same percentage of young people are not entering these professions.
Although there are many opportunities in the trade industry, many young people are simply not choosing it as a career. This is despite that 74% of parents in a recent YouGov survey would encourage their child to learn the skilled trades. However only 3% of young people aged between 18-24 have searched for a job in the trade industry.
But why is this?
Maybe it’s a poor perception of the trade, muddy boots and hard hats. However the trade industry is more than that including careers in design, engineering and project management, along with on-site trades. And all of these roles require specialist skills, whether it’s the designing of a building or the physical making of it.
Rise in ReSkilling
However all is not lost, a recent survey of 2000 people by Indeed found that almost 21% of people in the UK would consider reskilling or learning a skilled trade.
This is on top of the news in the Powered Now survey that more women are entering the trade. This new haven for employment looks to become an unexpected catalyst to help move the industry closer to gender parity.