The Growing Demand for Trade Skills in the UK Construction Industry

The construction industry in the UK is currently facing a significant challenge – a shortage of skilled trade workers. This shortage has created a high demand for various trade skills across different sectors. As the current workforce in the industry ages, the need for new recruits becomes more pressing. In this blog, we will explore the trade skills that are in high demand in the UK construction industry and the steps being taken to address this growing skills gap.

The Current State of the UK Construction Industry

The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 report has highlighted the need for 937,000 new recruits by 2032 to bridge the skills gap in the construction and trades industry. This shortage is particularly prevalent among plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters, and electricians. Since a significant portion of the current workforce is aged over 50 and set to retire in the next decade, there is an urgent need to engage young people to pursue careers in skilled trades.

In-Demand Trade Skills

Several trade skills are currently in high demand in the UK construction industry. These especially include:


As a result of the increased need for new housing and infrastructure, the demand for skilled plumbers is on the rise. Plumbers play a crucial role in installing and maintaining plumbing systems in residential and commercial buildings.


Equally as technology continues to advance, the demand for qualified electricians is growing. Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in various settings.


Additionally the construction industry relies heavily on skilled carpenters for tasks such as framing, installing fixtures, and crafting furniture. The need for carpenters is expected to surge over the next decade.

Addressing the Skills Gap

To combat the shortage of skilled trade workers, the construction industry in the UK is focusing on engaging and training young people. The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 report emphasises the need for 244,000 qualified apprentices by 2032. This push for apprenticeships aims to fill the gaps in various trade skills and ensure a steady supply of skilled workers for the future.

As shown above, the demand for skilled trade workers in the UK construction industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years. As the current workforce ages, there is a pressing need to attract and train young talent to fill the skills gap. By focusing on apprenticeships and promoting the value of trade skills, the industry can ensure a sustainable pipeline of skilled workers to support future construction projects and infrastructure development.

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