Time and money stop tradespeople from pursuing further training

Almost half (45%) of UK tradespeople want to do additional training but are unable to do so because of barriers like time and finances.

In line with the Festival of Learning (September), an awareness event designed to celebrate lifelong learning, IronmongeryDirect surveyed trade workers from across the nation to reveal the appetite for professional development.

Half (50%) say that they enjoy learning new things, but one in eight (12%) have reached a stage where they rarely do so anymore.

This is largely due to the obstacles preventing them from pursuing further training, and the most cited barrier is a lack of awareness. Almost one in seven (13%) tradespeople say that they wouldn’t know where to look for development opportunities.

The money and time (both 12%) required for training courses is also discouraging, and sadly, so too is social pressure. One in 12 (8%) say that they don’t ask for more training as they worry what other people would think of them for making such a request.

Such barriers are significant, as less than a fifth (17%) of tradespeople say that their initial training was enough to set them up fully for their career, highlighting the importance of continuous learning.

Out of all the trades, building surveyors (48%) are the most likely to face training obstacles, with money (19%) being their main stumbling block.

The trades most and least likely to face barriers to further training are:

  • Building surveyor (48%)
  • Carpenter (46%)
  • Plumber (42%)
  • Roofer (40%)
  • Bricklayer (36%)
  • Scaffolder (33%)
  • Window fabricator (33%)
  • Painter decorator (32%)
  • Plasterer (31%)
  • Electrician (30%)
  • Builder (28%)
  • Landscaper (27%)
  • Joiner (13%)

Worryingly, despite being the most eager to learn new things, young tradespeople are the most likely to face barriers. Gen Z (18-24s) and Millennial (25-34s) workers are the keenest to continue developing, but are the worst affected by each of the main obstacles, with time (21%) being the primary issue.

Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, says: “It’s brilliant to see that many tradespeople want to continue training, as keeping up with the latest industry trends and regulations can provide a real career advantage.

“However, our research has highlighted the numerous barriers that often get in the way, particularly for young workers, and that is concerning.

“With this in mind, we’ve partnered with a careers coach to share advice for tradespeople on how to continue learning throughout their working lives.”


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