New survey reveals young people’s perceptions towards the trades industry
Young People’s Survey reveals trades jobs overlooked by young people due to a major salary misunderstanding . The findings have been released after the launch of Get In, a campaign looking to encourage more young people into trades careers .
The prospects and earning potential of trades jobs such as electricians, carpenters and plumbers is misunderstood by Generation Z, a new survey commissioned by Checkatrade has revealed. The Gen Z Trade Pulse report has been released today and highlights how young people feel about the trades and construction industry, as well as their views as to why they may or may not choose it as a career. Launched as part of Get In, a campaign looking to encourage more young people into trades careers, the report’s findings are important as the sector is facing a huge skills gap.
The survey of people aged between 14-25 revealed that the most important factors to them in considering a career in the trades are choosing their own hours, having more money, running their own business and being able to earn additional income outside of normal work.
But it also uncovered a major misunderstanding in their perception of trade salaries, with the majority predicting that traditional trades earnings were in line with the national average. In fact, of the 11 traditional trade professions, 7 boast an average income surpassing it. More interestingly, all the 11 traditional trade professions offer the potential for six figure salaries when self-employed or by setting up a business.
For example, when asked if a plumber earns above, below or in line with the national average of £27,800, 17% of respondents answered ‘below’, with 36% answering in line. In reality, this is the highest earning trade job with an average take home salary of £33,900 per year – substantially more than the national average. This also applies to trades such as electricians, plasterers, scaffolders, bricklayers and carpenters.
The Get In campaign is being led by Melanie Waters, Managing Director of Get In and Trade-Up, and spearheaded by Richard Harpin, Founder of HomeServe and Chair of Checkatrade. Melanie Waters said: “Our survey has made clear that many young people are unaware of the income tradespeople take home, and with good pay being one of the main draws to trade careers, it’s important we change young people’s perceptions urgently. These perceptions are contributing to a skills gap which is already having a detrimental effect on the industry, so it must be corrected to encourage young people to consider a career in one of these exciting, secure jobs.”
Earlier this year, Checkatrade’s Trade Skills Index Report revealed the vast extent of the construction and trades skills gap, with the sector needing almost a million new workers over the coming decade just to meet demand.
Melanie Waters said: “Another huge draw for young people considering trades jobs is the role they will play in the UK’s green agenda – particularly the mammoth task of retrofitting the existing housing stock. Additionally, with an ageing workforce including 35% being over 50 and no pipeline of young talent in place, the UK will struggle to meet construction demand and environmental targets once this demographic reaches retirement age. ”
Melanie Waters added: “The UK must ramp up the number of completed construction apprentices to avoid the skills gap worsening – an increase of around 34 per cent above the current levels. This is an urgent problem, but there is a solution. We must do everything we can now to encourage younger generations to consider a career in the trades. It’s important we recognise that young people are going to be crucial to the future of the industry in helping bridge that divide. Expect our new campaign, called Get In, to make waves in terms of tackling this challenge, and we’re looking forward to working with the industry, government, and regional decision makers to take action and inspire a new generation of tradespeople.”
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