UK Domestic Trades Skills Index 2022
(based on 58% apprenticeship completion rate)
Missing 1 Million:
UK will not meet construction demand by 2030 without major recruitment drive, data reveals
We commissioned the UK Domestic Trades Skills Index, commissioned and carried out by leading global macro-economic analyst Capital Economics, found the industry needs to recruit at least ONE MILLION new workers to meet construction, home repairs and improvements demands as the industry grows by 4.1 per cent a year.
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Produced with Capital Economics
1 million extra trades and construction workers needed by 2030
By the end of 2030, the UK will need an additional 1 MILLION new workers to meet construction demands. This includes 193,000 more qualified plumbers, electricians, and skilled trades such as joiners as the industry swells to 7.3 per cent of total employment – a level not seen for the last 30 years.
Soaring demand for tradespeople means the sector will need to train 21,400 new recruits every year to meet the target – double the number of successfully completed apprenticeships seen in the UK pre-pandemic.
The exodus of 191,000 EU workers under 50, combined with an increase in job changers over the pandemic, has pushed the average age of the industry up, with a third now aged over 50.
252,000 additional completed apprenticeships needed by 2030
According to the UK Domestic Skills Index report, which explores 11 construction trades including carpenters, plumbers and electricians, the workforce will need to expand by 252,000 from 2020 levels to 2.5 million. Two fifths of the rise in construction employment will be in the housing improvements and repairs sector.
Homeworking, net zero and housebuilding ambitions have all contributed to increased growth projections, with renewable energy installation and insulating the UK’s 19 million-strong housing stock, high on the agenda.
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The latest report indicates that a significant number of trades and construction workers need to be recruited to the sector by 2030 if Britain is to meet construction demand. Read the the top headlines in our summary document here.
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See the full data and analysis on the state of the market in our full Trades Skills Index report, in partnership with Capital Economics.
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Young people are key in building Britain's greener future
The number of young apprentices entering the UK trades sector needs to DOUBLE to satisfy booming consumer demand for home improvements and repairs over the next decade.
Soaring demand for tradespeople means the sector will need to train 21,400 new recruits every year to keep up with demand. Currently, only 55% of construction and trades apprenticeships are completed. Improving this statistic will be key. The funnel to create 28,000 would mean recruiting over 40,000 candidates into the trades sector every year.
The move towards UK domestic decarbonisation, and the opportunities it opens up, could help to change the conversation with Generation Z, who are more interested in addressing climate change than previous generations.
Try A Trade - Launching soon
The ‘Try a Trade’ initiative – spearheaded by Richard Harpin and West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street – is being trialled in 19 West Midlands schools in conjunction with school terms, with the hope young people can be tempted to consider a trades apprenticeship or training.
The programme will see the charity, in partnership with Amazing Apprenticeships, work with careers services, local trades firms and training providers to help school leavers learn more about a career in trades and match them to opportunities in the sector.
The solution: Apprenticeship Matching Service
For many employers, it can be a challenge to finding the time and resources to source the right candidates for an apprenticeship.
We launched a new apprenticeship matching service for SMEs, which will help match local trades firms with potential new recruits of all ages.
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