The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 is a report that provides an insight into the future of trade skills in the country. This report was commissioned by the British government to identify the skill sets that will be in demand over the next five years, and to provide an analysis of the state of trade skills in the UK. According to the report, the demand for trade skills is set to increase substantially in the next five years, with many industries facing a shortage of skilled labour. This equates to 937,000 new workers needed by 2032 in the construction and trade industries.
The skill shortage of electricians rose rapidly in 2021, and it has been identified that a further 100,000 electricians will need to be recruited by 2032 to plug the ever growing gap. Alongside electricians, there is also a growing shortage of plumbers, bricklayers and carpenters.
Why the shortage?
The report suggests that the reasons behind this labour shortage are varied. First, there is a demographic shift underway in the UK, with an ageing population putting increasing pressure on the workforce. One third of the current workforce is aged 50 or over and will retire in the next 10 years, and at the moment there are not enough new recruits to replace them. Second, Brexit is likely to lead to a reduction in the number of overseas workers coming to the UK. Plus, the report identifies a lack of investment in training and education from the government as a major contributing factor to the shortfall in skilled workers.
Overcoming the shortage
To address this shortfall, the report suggests that the British government needs to invest in three areas: training and apprenticeships; social and economic infrastructure; and research and development. The report recommends that the government create a new apprenticeship programme targeting the construction industry, offering training and support to young people and career changers.
The report also calls for investment in social and economic infrastructure, such as transport networks, energy systems, and housing, which would create jobs and spur economic growth. Finally, the report suggests that the government invest in research and development, encouraging innovation and new technologies that can help the UK compete in a global market.
Ultimately, the UK Trade Skills Index 2023 is a call to action for the British government, the education sector, and industry. It is an urgent reminder that more needs to be done to support and develop trade skills in the country.
The report highlights the need for the government to work with employers, educators, and training providers to develop new apprenticeships and training programmes, and to invest in the infrastructure and technologies that will support the growth of the trade sector. It is also a invitation for individuals to consider a career in the trades, recognising the opportunities that exist for those with the right skills and work ethic.
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