The UK locations most in demand of tradespeople revealed

The UK locations most in demand of tradespeople revealed

The current shortage of tradespeople in the UK is not new information, however a recent survey by Markel Direct, the specialist insurer of tradespeople, has revealed the full extent of the issue. 

The study found that 46% of UK homeowners have struggled to hire a tradesperson for their projects or repairs, with the top reasons cited being “no availability” by 46% of respondents and “shortage of specific trade in the area” by 34%. The study also looked at which UK locations are experiencing the greatest shortage of tradespeople, by analysing the number of searches for certain trades in cities across the UK and comparing this to listed businesses offering that trade. Out of 46 cities analysed, 19 were revealed to not have enough tradespeople to meet the search demand of the residents. 

The data revealed that Norwich was the city with the most trades with shortages compared to searches per 10,000 residents. It was found to have shortages of nine trades including bricklayers, carpenters and electricians. 

Three cities – Peterborough, Swansea and York – were all found to have a shortage of eight trades, with each city needing more plumbers, carpenters and carpet fitters. And Plymouth was found to have a shortage of seven of the 13 trades looked at. 

When it came to the trade with shortages in the most cities, the data revealed it was the jack of all trades “handyman/person” which are in short supply, with 15 out of 46 cities not having enough businesses to meet the search demand. 

Next was plumbers, of which there were a shortage in 12 cities out of 46 analysed. Plumbers were also found to be the most in demand trade nationally, according to searches of “plumber” and “plumber near me”, with 44 out of 46 cities showing the highest monthly search volume for this trade above the others. 

In joint third place was bricklayers and carpenters, of which seven cities didn’t have enough businesses in the area to meet the residents’ demand. 

Number of UK cities with shortage of skilled trades 

Trade Cities with shortage of trade 
Handyman/person  15  
Plumber  12  
Bricklayer  7  
Carpenter  7  
Carpet fitter  6  
Electrician  5  
Plasterer  4  
Joiner  3  
Painter and decorator  3  
Landscaper  2  
Tiler  2  
Builder  1  
Roofer  0  

Additionally, the study explored the most common DIY disasters by homeowners that resulted in them hiring a tradesperson to fix. Plumbing repairs and maintenance topped the list, followed by painting and decorating, and tree removal in third position. 

Rob Rees, Divisional Director at Markel Direct, commented ‘Whilst it can be tempting to attempt repairs or DIY tasks yourself, the risk of getting something wrong could result in only more problems to fix. Hiring an accredited and insured tradesperson with years of experience will ensure the job is done to a high standard and, most importantly, safely.’ 

You can find the full study here:

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