The Future of Trade Skills in the UK

14th March 2024

future of trade skills

Insights from the UK Trade Skills Index 2023

Are you considering a career in the trades industry? The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 sheds light on the future landscape of trade skills in the UK, providing valuable insights for both aspiring professionals and policymakers alike. Commissioned by the British government, this report offers a comprehensive analysis of the state of trade skills and outlines the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

According to the report, the demand for trade skills is projected to soar over the next five years, with industries such as construction facing a significant shortage of skilled labour. To meet this demand, an estimated 937,000 new workers will be needed by 2032. Particularly, the shortage of electricians has been escalating rapidly, with an additional 100,000 electricians required to bridge the gap.

Several factors contribute to this labour shortage. An ageing population and impending retirements place strain on the workforce, while Brexit may limit the influx of overseas workers. Additionally, inadequate investment in training and education exacerbates the shortfall in skilled workers.

Addressing the Shortfall – 

To tackle this challenge head-on, the report advocates for government intervention in three key areas:

  1. Training and Apprenticeships: A new apprenticeship programme targeting the construction industry is proposed, offering training and support to young individuals and career changers.
  2. Social and Economic Infrastructure: Investment in infrastructure projects like transport networks, energy systems, and housing not only creates jobs but also stimulates economic growth.
  3. Research and Development: Encouraging innovation and the adoption of new technologies enhances the UK’s competitiveness in the global market.

Looking Ahead – 

The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 serves as a clarion call for action, urging collaboration between government, education institutions, and industry stakeholders. It emphasizes the need for the development of new apprenticeships and training programmes, alongside investments in infrastructure and technology to nurture the growth of the trade sector.

Takeaways for Individuals – 

For individuals, this report presents an invitation to explore career opportunities in the trades. With the right skills and work ethic, there are promising prospects in a sector poised for expansion. Hand in hand with this career opportunity, our electrical estimating software can propel your career forward. You can get  a FREE demo of our software.

In conclusion, the UK Trade Skills Index 2023 underscores the importance of proactive measures to address the impending skills gap. By investing in training, infrastructure, and innovation, the UK can pave the way for a robust and sustainable future in trade skills.