Checkatrade has launched two “game-changing” campaigns aimed at encouraging young people into the trades, after figures revealed a growing interest in careers such as carpentry, plumbing and electrics.
A campaign called ‘Get In the Game’ will gamify the industry by reimagining tradespeople in superhero gaming skins, turning tasks like wiring, brickwork and carpentry into ‘point of view’ videos. It will look to gather CVs from young people, connecting them to great opportunities with employers.
A careers programme for schools called ‘Try a Trade’ has also been launched. Delivered with educational organisation Amazing Apprenticeships, it will help schools educate learners about trades careers, as well as provide educational experiential days for year 10 and 11 students.
Both initiatives have been started after survey data from Checkatrade revealed a growing demand for schools to provide more advice on careers in trades.
A total of 24% of respondents aged between 14 and 25 said there was too much focus on further education and university, while 21% said there was a lack of information about the possibilities in vocational jobs like the trades.
The two campaigns are being spearheaded by Checkatrade chairman Richard Harpin, who also founded HomeServe. He said: “For too long, the trades have been overlooked for more conventional educational routes such as university. But with these two campaigns, we’re urging young people to consider a career in these fantastically rewarding, well-paid, and important jobs.
“It’s vital we capture the attention and imaginations of talented, young people to enter this profession. We know they want more information about the industry, so we must do all we can to inform and connect them.
“As we know from the Trade Skills Index, demand for professions like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians will surge over the next decade, and we need great people in them, so we must act now.”
Get In the Game, a gamer-style campaign, will bring the routines and jobs of trade influencers and industry professionals to life, all to help fill a growing skills gap which could blight the construction industry over the next decade.
It will do this in part through a major social media campaign, gamifying the industry by reimagining tradespeople in superhero skins, turning tasks like wiring, plumbing, and carpentry into ‘POV’ games, and working alongside influencers to create content to get young people passionate about these jobs. Three characters have also been created, inspired by the worlds of Fortnite, Roblux, League of Legends and Zelda: Volt, Piper and Chip.
This campaign is part of a wider new programme called ‘Get In’. This aims to capture young people’s imaginations, and their CVs, then connect them to apprenticeships and careers with trade businesses on the Checkatrade platform, as well as large trade employers and SME trade businesses. A link to our registration page can be found here.
Schools engagement programme Try a Trade has also begun. Over the coming months, the scheme will collaborate with schools, educational leaders and politicians across the country.
It will help school students in years 10 and 11 discover more about careers in these jobs, providing teachers and career advisers with a hub of resources and content, as well as first-hand access to industry experts.
The campaigns have been launched after the Trade Skills Index report released earlier this year highlighted an “urgent and alarming” shortage in the trades. According to the report, the UK will need almost a million new plumbers, bricklayers and other tradespeople by 2032, just to keep pace with demand.
The report said the issue is being exacerbated by the post-Brexit exodus of European workers and an ageing workforce, one third of whom are aged over 50 and will likely retire within the next 10 years.
Melanie Waters, Managing Director of Trade-Up and Get In, said: “The two campaigns we’re launching today have the potential to be truly game-changing.
“We’re excited about them – and how by working with influencers, schools, politicians and educational leaders, we can inspire young people to embrace these secure, green, well-paid jobs – whilst also filling the sector’s enormous skills gap.”