Published on 28 Sep, 2017

Britain is facing a huge skills shortage after Brexit. Hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled across the UK, as shortages of skilled labour take hold in certain sectors. From plumbers, electricians and builders to engineers, there are huge gaps across a wide range of trades and professions.

Industry Overview

The construction industry is a key economic driver in the UK with more than 2.1 million people working in it. In 2014 it generated £103 billion, which is nearly 6.5% of the UK’s total output. Although as a result of Brexit economists have lowered their growth forecast for 2018 from 1.2% to 0.7% (the lowest in 6 years), there still is a huge shortage looming on the horizon.

Skills Gap

So, what is the skills gap? Put simply, there’s demand for skilled workers in various industries, but there simply aren’t enough people to fill these roles. As a result, a gap has formed. But is this really a problem or rather an opportunity for workers? There’s no denying that many businesses see it as a problem. If we take a look at the other side of the coin, however, this skills gap represents an unprecedented opportunity for people who want to learn a trade. If you are currently unemployed and you are willing to put the efforts and learn a trade, you have a virtually guaranteed job for the foreseeable future. On top of regular construction demand, the government is committing £5 billions to boost house building. As a result, the UK’s construction industry must hire more than 400,000 workers every year for the next few years in order to build enough homes and meet the high demand.

Here’s a list of the top 3 most in-demand jobs in the construction industry at the moment:

  1. Electricians

    They are the most well paid tradesmen in the UK. The average daily rate is between £150 and £200. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the average electrician salary in the UK is £30,765 per year. Since the Brexit vote electricians have been known to be in shortage. This is damaging the prospects of all housebuilding in the UK, as lots of companies are suffering from a lack of skilled staff. The good news here is that the gap is an opportunity for people looking to start a new career as an electrician.

  2. Bricklayers

    At present bricklayers are in strong demand in Britain’s construction industry. They are being paid up to £25 an hour as building companies struggle to find skilled workers. It is expected that bricklayers and all construction workers in general to be paid £34 more per week than last year. And it can go up more as demand for bricklayers is increasing by the hour.

  3. Plumbers

    Shortage for plumbers at the moment is a great opportunity for experienced plumbers to cash in on their skills. The hourly rate varies by years of experience, area and certification. According to the Office of National Statistics, the average annual salary for plumbers in the UK is £29 136 and it is expected to go up. As usual, day rates vary significantly from one city to another. For example, an experienced plumber in London will most likely charge up to £300 per day, while a plumber in Northern England is likely to earn far less in comparison.

Going Forward

Although prospects are very good for the foreseeable future, don’t forget that earning the qualification for a trade will take you a significant amount of time and efforts. Most tradesmen start out as apprentices and they often earn below the minimum wage, while in training When they complete their training and get their certificates, however, they can start earning a much higher salary, especially now.

So what are you waiting for? If you are willing to learn a new skill or have prior knowledge of some trade skills, put them in good use! Now is the perfect time!

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Milton Berle


Back to the Blog