Despite working long hours and regular weekends, almost three-quarters of tradespeople in the UK are happy in their work, according to a new survey carried out by the country’s largest online supplier of ironmongery, IronmongeryDirect.
The poll, completed by over 950 tradespeople, saw 72% of respondents rate themselves as ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ in their current role, with 70% saying they would recommend their job to others. This was despite almost half (46%) of those surveyed working over 45 hours every week, 54% regularly working weekends and almost a third (29%) taking less than two weeks holiday a year.
The findings are in contrast to the overall decline in job satisfaction across the UK, highlighted by a recent survey which found that workplace happiness has dropped steadily over the past three years, with only 41% of staff reporting being happy most of the time at work.
Commenting on the survey findings, Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, says, “For too long, academic professions have been portrayed as the aspirational career routes to pursue, while occupations in the trade sector are viewed as second class. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“There are a huge number of benefits for those taking up a trade, and the results from our survey show just how fulfilling and rewarding a career on the tools can be. With acute skills shortages felt across the whole construction sector, it is the perfect time for young people to pursue a trade career and join this flourishing industry.”
Skills shortages (reported by 64% of respondents), which are compounded by record employment levels, mean a trade career is likely to offer long-term job security. With 10% of the UK construction workforce made up of overseas workers, the issue could be even further exacerbated if immigration is restricted under the terms of Brexit. Furthermore, 22% of current tradespeople are aged over 50, while 15% are in their 60s, so new talent is urgently needed to replace those nearing retirement.
Trade skills can lead to lucrative careers, with half of the survey respondents earning £30,000 or more. There are also good prospects for self-employment, which offers added flexibility, control and the option to be selective when taking on work. This is reflected in the survey, with 78% of self-employed tradespeople rating themselves as ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ at work.