The construction and manual trade industry is one of a few that has remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have workers and businesses been able to operate within social distancing guidelines (following an initial lockdown early last year), but the industry has gone from strength to strength, and with it, its appeal as a profession has rocketed.
Online learning portal, Access Training UK revealed a 29% increase in applicants to its trade courses in 2020, including a noticeable 14% increase in female applicants. This noticeable increase could not come at a better time as construction activity levels have experienced a seven year high, whilst demand for home improvements have soared significantly, as homeowners look to renovate and re-design homes to adapt to a new way of living.
Training to be an electrician has been the most popular avenue over the last year with a 38% increase in trainees at Access Training UK, closely followed by gas engineer courses (29%), plumber courses (24%) and carpentry courses (13%).
With career specific courses delivering industry recognised qualifications wherever you are in the country, Access Training UK has highlighted which regions of the UK are leading the charge when it comes to specific trades:
|Region||Percentage increase in graduates when comparing 2019/20 to 2020/21|
|Brighton and Bristol||36%|
|Oxford and Liverpool||33%|
|Cambridge and Liverpool||50%|
|Cambridge and Bristol||50%|
|Norwich and Brighton||20%|
|Oxford and London||15%|
Jamie Jefferies, CEO of Access Training UK, comments: “Construction and manual trades were some of the UK’s strongest sectors during the pandemic. There is also a huge skill shortage within the industry. Therefore, it is no surprise to see an increase in the number of graduates across the board, with the industry appealing to those looking for employment, but also those looking for a career change.”