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Apprenticeships decline but trade sector could be a haven for a new wave of employment

The UK’s trade productivity has sharply increased, with 15% of tradespeople experiencing highest client demand ever

Powered Now unveils new research from the UK’s trade workforce highlighting growth in productivity post-lockdown

  • 15% of tradespeople are experiencing  their highest client demand ever, post-COVID
  • 18% of Brits agree that after COVID, they are now considering employment within a trade sector
  • 16% of tradespeople agree that the threat of a second wave of COVID has influenced them to commence work on home improvements sooner rather than later

The Department for Education recently reported that the number of apprenticeships starts has fallen by 18% to 319,000 during the 2019-2020 academic year. The cause for this decline is due to the severe impact Coronavirus has had on the job market, with many employers postponing or cancelling apprenticeships despite the cash incentives put forward by the government. 

However, while the number of apprenticeships declines, Powered Now has found that 18% of Brits are now looking for employment in the trade sectors. With new PMI data showing that the construction and trade sectors accelerated to 56.8 from 54.6 in August, it appears the construction and the trades sectors are fast becoming havens of job creation for Brits seeking new career avenue, as seen through Powered Now’s research. 

Now, new nationally representative research from Powered Now, a mobile-based billing, invoicing and quotation application which specialises in trades, has unveiled that the UK’s trade workforce has seen a growth in productivity post-lockdown.

Key Statistics

  • 15% of tradespeople are experiencing their highest client demand ever, post-COVID
  • 16% of tradespeople agree that the threat of a second wave of COVID has influenced them to commence work on home improvements sooner rather than later
  • 17% of tradespeople regularly work over 10 hours a day
  • 16% of tradespeople agree that they lose out on business due to extensive administrative tasks, such as chasing invoices
  • 18% of tradespeople don’t have the time or motivation for new business development due to the sheer backlog of work they have
  • 16% of tradespeople agree that a potential second wave of COVID has made them more motivated to work, and therefore won’t be taking a holiday in 2020

Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, comments on the research and how this revival in business has caused a welcome increase in productivity and growth for the sector.

“The decline in the number of apprenticeships reflects how deeply Covid has impacted the job market. With public spending still busting government limits and the deficit on course to hit £400bn this year, a record amount in peacetime, the country cannot simply carry on spending its way out of trouble. New measures implemented by the government have gone some way to lessen the blow, but we have found that many people who are struggling with employment have decided to start a new career in the construction and trade sectors. 

This is great news as the sector continues to see an upward trajectory of recovery, and it just goes to show how important these sectors are when it comes to recovering from the problems caused by COVID-19. This recovery has been fuelled by the winter months, with more people getting their homes ready for the cooler months and we expect this to continue in the short term. Despite second wave concerns, our research has entirely confirmed that tradespeople and consumers alike are very much eager to sustain this growth, with traders being are motivated to work and commencing their work on home improvements even sooner. This is sure to help the sector bounce back even quicker as people will rush to hire a tradesperson for their desired work.”

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