Research carried out by AXA, a leading provider of construction industry insurance in the UK, has found that the market is dominated by a growing number of new tradespeople, both men and women, who are diversely educated with a wide and exciting background of talents and experiences to bring to the industry.
Traditionally people assume that all building tradespeople simply left school at 16 and looked for something to do, with a vocational qualification perhaps considered at a later date. However this is far from the truth. AXA’s study found that whilst around 60% of tradespeople over 45 followed this route, it isn’t the same for younger workers.
Looking at the younger workforce, AXA found 50% of younger tradesmen actually come from a higher education background, with 80% qualified to A-Level standard of above. More people are also entering the trades after a career in corporate and professional industries and only 2% of younger tradesmen have no qualifications whatsoever. Formal apprenticeships have also grown in number, whilst the number of women working in the trades has stayed low, at around 1 in 10.
Passion and Creativity in Construction
Asked about their values and feelings towards their work, 20% of tradespeople questioned by AXA asserted their trade had been a hobby before it became their job and more creativity is also being injected into the sector. When asked about the skills they needed to bring into their businesses, fresh ideas topped the table for tradesmen, with technical skills much further down the ranking.
Commitment to the Community
Working in the building trade is often a local business where you spend a lot of time within your own community, and become recognised for your work there. 80% of the tradesmen surveyed do work for free for vulnerable customers and over 60% often work extra hours for free.
Local tradesmen recognise the need to always to the best possible job and claim 82% of commissions come through personal recommendations from family and friends of their existing customers, so it pays to be courteous and do the best possible job. AXA also found that not advertising seems to be something tradespeople are proud of, with no need to advertise because of recommendations considered a real success story.
Working in the construction and building trade is often put off as something that’s hard work and not for people who are highly educated or trained but this is clearly not the case. The industry is changing and this allows more people from more backgrounds to get involved.