Is your trade one of those now earning up to six times the national average?
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New research from recruitment firm Manpower has found that electricians, plumbers, and bricklayers are seeing wages soar as a skills shortage sweeps the country.
Electricians earning as much as £156,000 a year
The research found that electricians are benefitting the most from the skills shortage, with those working in the trade earning up to £3,000 a week.
This works out at around six times the national average wage, and is even higher than the Prime Minister’s £150,000 a year salary.
Plumbers and bricklayers are also benefiting, with wages having risen by up to 10 per cent over the past year. Plumbers can now bring home up to £2,000 a week, while bricklayers are looking at a potential £1,125 a week.
Wages shift across the county
While the highest wages are still found in the capital and South East, tradesmen across the country are feeling the effects. James Hick, managing director of Manpower, believes this could be related to the Grenfell Tower fire.
“Urgent testing and repair is being carried out up and down the country on much of Britain’s public housing stock,” said Mr Hick.
“The state of housing in the country is under the microscope like never before and the need for both building and remedial work have caused demand in the construction industry to shoot up.”
UK suffering skills shortage
One of the main drivers for the wage increase is the UK’s current skills shortage. Last year, bricklayers saw their wages spike as Britain voted to leave the European Union, and skilled workers have been in short supply ever since.
While this is good news for sole traders and contractors, who are able to command a higher price, for those looking to hire skilled workers the cost of doing so is now much higher than it was two years ago.
As well as Brexit, the recession ten years ago impacted the number of skilled workers around today. “The industry lost three generations of talent during the long economic downturn,” said Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders.
“Ever since the market picked up again in 2013 to 2014, we’ve seen the impact of this, as our members have reported increasing difficulties in recruiting key trades. This is driving very significant wage increases in some areas.”
“Construction hiring often slows in the winter months, but the UK is set to buck the trend this year. Our data suggests this could be the strongest fourth quarter for hiring since 2005.”