UK Domestic Trades Skills Index 2022

New workers needed in construction and trade to meet growing demand by 2030
Completed apprenticeships required by 2030 to meet skills shortage
apprenticeship starters need to be recruited to the industry every year
(based on 58% apprenticeship completion rate)
£ 0
Increase in labour wages per head if demand is not met by 2030 (based on today’s prices)

Missing 1 Million:
UK will not meet construction demand by 2030 without major recruitment drive, data reveals

The UK Domestic Trades Skills Index, commissioned by the HomeServe Foundation charity 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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Discover the headline findings from this report by downloading our free infographic. You are welcome to share this infographic across your social media channels or for any website content, just remember to tag or credit The HomeServe Foundation and use the hashtag #TradeSkillsIndex in any of your posts.

Helen Booth, Director of the HomeServe Foundation

“The good news is that despite Covid 19 and Brexit, the UK construction and trades industry is experiencing incredible growth – and this is expected to continue apace for the duration of this decade.  

“What stands in the way of this growth is the availability of skilled trades workers across the country. We need a significant step change in the number of apprentices in key trades if we are going to see the industry reach its full potential. We can’t afford to ignore this.  

“Therefore, what we need to see now is an overhaul of the recruitment process and a united effort across education and industry, and the private and public sectors, to bring more young people and career changers into the industry. Right now, youth unemployment is 10 per cent amongst 18 to 24-year-olds, so we’ve developed a genuinely impactful programme to help young people understand the potential the industry offers while supporting small trades firms to take on a young trainee.”  

Apprentice learning how to fix a boiler

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.

The solution:
Try A Trade

The HomeServe Foundation’s ‘Try a Trade’ initiative – spearheaded by HomeServe Plc CEO 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.

The HomeServe Foundation has 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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More info

Flexi-job apprenticeship will allow agencies to be the apprentice’s employer for the duration of their apprenticeship while placing the apprentice with other host employers for short term placements. This will enable apprentices to move between businesses as they complete their apprenticeship, while remaining employed throughout by the agency.

More info

PAYE is HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) system to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employment. More information are available here