According to a new report launched by Manpower1, some tradesmen in high-demand regions, particularly London, are now earning as much as £156,000 a year – more than the £150,000 earned by the Prime Minister. On a collective level it is estimated that wages for tradesmen have risen by as much as ten per cent in the past 12 months alone.
Key contributing factors include the growing demand on the industry to build more houses while, at the same time, facing an escalating skills deficit.
According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), this year could see the strongest fourth quarter for hiring since 2005.1 However, supply remains a problem, with research showing the sector needs to recruit 400,000 people every year between now and 20212 to meet demand – meaning workers are in increasingly high-demand and pay is on the up.
David Butterfield, head of L&D at Aggregate Industries, comments: “Although we can’t be certain that these figures are true for all tradesmen, what we do know is that the sector offers lots of opportunity and a potentially lucrative career path for all types of people.
“However, there is still an education task to be done in breaking through the misconceptions that construction work is for men only and, in a lot of cases, low-paid and low skilled.
“Firstly, with UK tuition fees now at an all-time high, the reality is that an apprenticeship is becoming a much attractive option than the degree path for school-leavers – especially when they take into account they may be able to earn a significant amount without the debt.
“Conversely, when it comes to women in construction, they not only have the potential to be highly paid but can also benefit from greater flexibility; enabling them to plan work around their family commitments rather than the other way round.”
As part of an ongoing commitment to nurturing new industry talent, Aggregate Industries operates an extensive apprenticeship programme designed to give young people an opportunity to learn new skills and practice them in a live environment, as a solid basis for career development. Each year the business takes on a number of new apprentices who typically go on to enjoy fruitful careers in construction and engineering roles.
As part of this, Aggregate Industries continues to increase female intake for its graduate and higher apprenticeships schemes over recent years. As a result a quarter (25%) of all graduates taken on in 2015 and 2016 were female and a third (33%) of higher apprentices employed were female.
David adds: “Clearly, for those seeking a solid and fruitful career, the appeal of the construction industry couldn’t be better. However, if we are to encourage the next generation of talent we must dispel the traditional stereotypes and advocate the vast range of opportunities available to all."