Tradespeople in the UK are seeking jobs overseas, which could exacerbate the fitter shortage in the UK, according to find-a-tradesperson platform, Rated People.
The platform has found 63% of UK trades are experiencing labour shortages in 2023 and tradespeople are looking to leave the country which could worsen the situation.
It reports one million Google searches for trade jobs abroad have been made in the UK in the last 12 months
A better quality of life and enhanced career opportunities are driving UK tradespeople to seek work abroad and the new study uncovers which countries are attracting our skilled workers the most.
The search terms “construction jobs Saudi Arabia” has seen the highest year-on-year growth up 293%.
While the phrase “plumbing jobs Saudi Arabia” has seen a growth of 171% in internet searches, and “carpenter jobs Australia has seen a growth of 129%
Brexit, a lack of young people getting into the industry and the cost-of-living crisis are key factors contributing to the lack of skilled workers in the industry, reports Rated People.
Following news that Rishi Sunak has relaxed visa rules for foreign tradespeople to help plug the workforce shortage, Rated People says more needs to be done to shore up the industry.
The research also comes off the back of findings in the 2023 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report that reveals 48% of UK school leavers weren’t offered a trade career as a job option in careers advice at school.
As a result of fewer young people entering the workforce, the average age of trade workers in the UK is increasing.
The most recent data is from 2018, where ONS reported one in every five UK-born construction workers was aged over 55, means in 2023 they would have passed retirement age and not enough young people are entering the industry to fill the gaps.
The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) recently set up a school leavers Career Support Desk to attract school leavers into the KBB industry.
CEO of Rated People Adrienne Minster commented: “The Government’s latest bid to fix the shortage by relaxing visa requirements for foreign workers is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to fix the root cause by encouraging more young people into the industry.
“School careers advice should be highlighting the incredible opportunities available in the industry. Trade jobs can offer high earning potential and great work-life balance, and by choosing a vocational path after school, students can avoid the debt that many face from going through university and paying significant fees.
“The Government also needs to enhance T-Level qualifications and make it worthwhile for trades businesses to offer apprenticeships so young people can get valuable experience whilst learning on the job.”