One-fifth of tradespeople have an apprentice

Apprentices are crucial to tackle the skills shortage, new research from Screwfix has revealed. The trade retailer says nine in 10 tradespeople questioned agreed that apprentices are vital to the future of the industry, but only 18 per cent currently have one, and 31 per cent said they would never hire one, highlighting a huge shortage of future tradespeople having the chance to learn a trade.

Not being able to afford extra costs such as insurance and pensions (19 per cent) and not having enough support from grants (13 per cent) are the key barriers tradespeople face when trying to get an apprentice on their payroll. Other reasons included not having time to train an apprentice, and not knowing how to recruit one.

However, with 31 per cent having previously employed an apprentice and currently considering hiring another one, there are likely to be opportunities for apprentices to find a placement in the future.

Additionally, of the 18 per cent who currently hire an apprentice, 73 per cent say they would hire another in the future, recognising the added value that young tradespeople can bring to a company.

The research has been revealed as Screwfix launches its annual Screwfix Trade Apprentice competition to champion the best new talent in the industry. Customer and Digital director Simon Jackson says: “The fact is that there is a real shortage of tradespeople in the UK. And, as our research shows, it’s clear just how vital apprentices are to future-proof the industry.

“Our skilled tradespeople tell us there is a lot to be gained from a career in the industry, so every year we launch this competition to highlight the future champions of the trade and throw a spotlight on what a brilliant and rewarding career path it can be. Tradespeople are essential to the economy, and we need to ensure every trade has a future.”

Kaiden Ashun, 21, from Cardiff, won the Screwfix Trade Apprentice title in 2021. He says: “The Screwfix Trade Apprentice competition has given me a platform to encourage more people to get into the industry as well as giving my career a real kickstart with the extra tools, tech, and training prize.”

Applications are  open for the Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2022 competition until 20 February 2022. One talented winner will receive a career-boosting prize package worth £10,000.

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