Best places for the building trades in 2020

Best places for the building trades in 2020

New research from NimbleFins has ranked the UK’s regions for the trades, according to salaries  jobs availability and the cost of living.

The study shows that the most affordable region for skilled tradespeople is the West Midlands, where workers earn an average of £27,920 but the typical household spends only £25,194 to live. (Therefore the region’s pay/cost of living affordability metric is 1.11, the highest in the study.) And with a pay/cost of living metric of only 0.84, the South East is the least affordable for skilled trades.

The region with the most jobs per person is Scotland, where there are 15.1 skilled trades jobs per 1,000 economically active people. Scotland also ranked #1 overall as the best UK region for skilled tradespeople with the best combination of jobs availability and affordable living. The North East ranked #2 overall in the UK as the best region for skilled trades. Despite offering the highest pay (£36,691), London is the worst region for skilled trades overall due to the high cost of living and limited job prospects.

Study highlights

Highest Pay: The region with the highest pay is London, where skilled construction and building trades workers earn an average of £36,691 a year. The area with the lowest pay is the North West, with average pay of just £24,964.

Best Pay vs. Cost of Living: The West Midlands is the most affordable, offering skilled construction and building trades workers the highest pay once you take into account the cost of living in an area. The South East is the least affordable for skilled construction and building tradespeople to live with a pay to cost of living ratio of just 0.84.

Jobs Availability: Scotland has the most robust jobs market for skilled construction and building tradespeople, with 15.1 jobs per 1,000 economically active people. London has the worst job opportunities, with only 3.7 jobs per 1,000 people.

Best and Worst Regions for Construction and Building Trades Best Worst
Overall Scotland London
Average Annual Pay London North West
Affordability West Midlands South East
Jobs Availability Scotland London

1. Scotland

Scotland ranked as the best region in Great Britain for skilled construction and building trades. Workers in Scotland earn an average of £28,270 per year—the 4th highest in Great Britain. But since Scotland has a relatively low cost of living (the typical household spends 14% less on living expenses in Scotland than the UK average), a worker’s salary stretches further. For example, the Pay to Cost of Living metric in Scotland was 1.10—second only to the West Midlands which had a Pay to Cost of Living metric of 1.11.

Scotland had the highest jobs density metric (15.1 skilled construction and building trades jobs per 1,000 economically active people), which means workers should have a relatively easy time finding a good job. In fact, Scotland hosts 84% more skilled trades jobs on a per-capita basis of the working population than the UK average, which is 8.2 jobs per 1,000 people.

With 21% more new build houses completed in 2019 than the previous year, according to government data, Scotland is clearly one of the best regions for skilled construction and building tradespeople to call home.

2. North East

The North East ranked as the second best region for skilled construction and building trades workers. Skilled construction and building tradespeople in the North East earn £26,171 a year on average, and the lowest cost of living means that the area’s Pay to Cost of Living metric of 1.10 tied that of Scotland.

13,000 jobs for 1,273,375 million working people means there are 10.2 skilled construction and building trades jobs for every 1,000 economically active people—24% more than the UK average.

3. Yorkshire and The Humber

Yorkshire and The Humber is the third best region for skilled construction and building trades, providing a solid concentration of nursing jobs, and good pay considering the cost of living.

Skilled construction and building tradespeople earn an average of £27,163 per year in Yorkshire and The Humber, which is 3% less than the UK average. However the cost of living is 9% less than the UK average which means a worker’s pay stretches further for expenses like food and housing. In 2019 there were 28,000 skilled construction and building trades jobs in Yorkshire and The Humber, contributing to a jobs density of 10.4.

Read the full results here: nimblefins.co.uk/best-places-skilled-construction-building-trade-UK

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