Apprenticeship Featured Industry News

Tradespeople say apprentices are the future of the industry but only a fifth hire one

Apprentices are crucial to tackle the skills shortage, research from omnichannel retailer Screwfix reveals. 9 in 10 tradespeople questioned agreed that apprentices are vital to the future of the industry, but only 18% currently hire one, and 31% said they would never hire one, highlighting a huge shortage of future tradespeople having the chance to learn a trade.

Not being able to afford extra costs such as insurance and pensions (19%), and not having enough support from grants (13%) are cited as the key barriers tradespeople face when trying to get an apprentice on their payroll.

Other reasons included not having time to train an apprentice, and not knowing how to even go about recruiting one.

However, with 31% having previously employed an apprentice and currently considering hiring another one, there are likely to be opportunities for apprentices to find a placement in the future.

Additionally, of the 18% who currently hire an apprentice, 73% say they would hire another in the future, recognising the added value young tradespeople can bring to a company.

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital Director, says: “The fact is that there is a real shortage of tradespeople in the UK. And, as our research shows its clear just how vital apprentices are to future-proof the industry.”

“Our skilled tradespeople tell us there is a lot to be gained from a career in the industry… Tradespeople are essential to the economy, and we need to ensure every trade has a future.”

The survey suggested that businesses employ apprentices to create a sustainable talent pipeline, to pass skills on to a new generation, and to give people an opportunity to start out.

Tradespeople cited that to be successful in the trade, the key skills needed include being honest (89%), being adaptable (88%), and being a good timekeeper (82%). Being skilled (79%) and being a people-person (66%) were also essential to doing well.

With 8 in 10 tradespeople recommending a career in the trade due to no two days being the same (79%), seeing satisfied customers (72%), and being your own boss (58%), there is plenty to encourage people to consider learning a trade by doing an apprenticeship.