With a new year, comes new aspirations. For many, that means seizing the day by finally setting plans in motion to begin that all-important career change.
A recent poll of 2,000 Brits indicated that one in eight working adults in the UK has been considering retraining for a role in construction or trade. Extrapolated to the general population, these figures would equate to just under four million people pondering a switch to the sector.
But is now the best time to make the move? Is the trade industry currently thriving?
In this article, we share a few top tips on what skills and qualifications are necessary for anyone who wishes to begin a career in trade in 2022.
Are tradespeople in high demand?
The poll also revealed that there was a total of 94,912 job advertisements in the trade industry as of September 2021: the demand for plumbers, electricians, and builders has skyrocketed.
Of these vacancies, these findings outlined the most sought-after sectors by number of positions posted:
- Building: 8,127
- Electrician: 5,641
- Decorator: 3,866
- Plumbing: 3,251
What requirements are needed?
Anyone who wishes to become a tradesperson will need to ensure that they have the right qualifications, experience, and insurance in place. Main routes for entering the trade sector include applying for an apprenticeship or taking NVQ college courses (or SVQ in Scotland) to the required levels.
Once qualified, it’s a good idea to apply for a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme card to demonstrate you have the proper skills.
Taking out insurance
Even after qualifying as a professional tradesperson, having all the right skills for the job isn’t enough. You also need to take out the relevant insurance. No matter how skilled you may be, work doesn’t always go to plan and accidents happen.
Your insurance will act as your lifeline in these cases. There are different types of insurance to cover different areas – for example, if you’re a newly qualified electrician, you’ll need to apply for electrician public liability insurance to protect you and your customers in unforeseen events.
Completing the relevant research or speaking to insurance specialists to find out what insurance policies best suit your practice is paramount, and don’t delay in getting the right cover in place. While many insurances aren’t legally required some are, the risks of operating without them can be detrimental.
It is key to remember that if you employ anyone else in your electrician business rather than acting as a sole trader, you are legally required to take out employers’ liability cover. Please note there are a few limited exceptions to this, so it’s worthwhile speaking to your insurance provider.
As with any job role, it’s important to be aware of what your expected income will be when embarking on your new career. The poll calculated an average salary for tradespeople in England is £37,939 per annum, which was almost 11% above the overall UK average wage at the time the poll in October 2021 (£34,261).
Though starting salaries may begin somewhat lower, researching higher wage brackets at more senior levels can be a great incentive to see how far this chosen career route could take you in the future.