Access Training UK has revealed a 27% uplift in the number of women registering for its trade courses year-on-year, as the construction industry continues to play a vital role in the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is no secret that the pandemic has left many unemployed following multiple lockdowns. The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen but remains at 4.6% and it has been reported that women represent 57% of the workforce sectors that have been forced into shutdown during the pandemic, such as retail and leisure. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see this demographic opting for a career change.
At Access Training UK, 27% more women registered for courses from 1 August 2020 – 20 July 2021, when compared with the previous year. The most popular course proved to be plumbing with 41% opting for this course, followed by 25% choosing electrical courses, 20% of women joining professional gas courses and 14% of women enrolling in construction courses.
One profession which has remained stable and in fact, increased revenue over the last year, is construction and trade. Since the first lockdown in May 2020, tradespeople were able to continue working, in line with social distancing guidelines. This, along with booming activity has led many to consider opting for a career in trade, and it is therefore no surprise to see a high proportion of women join the sector.
The home improvement boom over the last year has led to soaring levels of demand for the trade industry, with many DIY stores recording record sales, and builders experiencing the highest number of enquiries for 10 years at the beginning of 2021. The success of this industry can in part be attributed to homeowners, who having spent increased time at home, have opted to refresh their home’s design or in some cases, make drastic changes to increase space, for example extensions and loft conversions.
Access Training UK has three centres in the South East; Cardiff, Hertfordshire and Kent, however its three-stage training programme which enables online learning from anywhere has seen interest from across the country. Of the women who enrolled for courses between 1 August 2020 – 30 July 2021, there was a 40% increase in the East of England, compared to the previous year, followed by a 38% increase in the South East.
Jamie Jefferies, CEO of Access Training UK, comments: “It is extremely positive to see more and more women opting for trade careers, from plumbing through to electricians, gas engineers and construction. The rising demand in the trade sector over the last year has opened up a need for more qualified tradespeople and we are proud to offer a flexible, convenient and industry recognised training programme to support those looking to change careers or take their first step into the workplace.”