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Vocational training for the UK trades sector

Date Added: 11/11/2021

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Personnel in the trade industries in the UK will remain in high demand for many years assuring perennial job security and perks like part-time freelance work opportunities compared to other professions.

Now the high demand and shortage of trained hands have warranted an ecosystem of more training institutions and liberal intake for professional training as a rapid path to join the workforce. 


Vocational training avenues

Vocational education in trades allows people to continue their education after high school without moving to prolonged college or university education and grab a job in 15 months.

 Most vocational trade jobs are hands-on and physical fitness and mobility are a must. The duration of training varies from 6 months to a couple of years. Students will be offered certification or associate's degree. The option is often chosen by those who work with their hands, and want flexibility in their education path, work and want to be in school at the same time. 

Skilled trades require impeccable skills, theoretical knowledge and practical experience. In the UK, a huge shortage of qualified trade-people exists while reports say in plumbing, electricians gas engineer, renewable engineer and welding sector professions high demand and short supply of workers are soaring.


Expansion of housing sector fuelling demand

The demand for new homes is soaring as the population is growing. The expansion of renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and smart meters are also accelerating demand for skilled trades-people. The existing workforce in trades are ageing and retiring. Inducting a new tech-savvy workforce is very urgent. 

Learning a skilled trade assures a job and steady income for life. It can also opportunity work as self-employed, with the freedom to work according to one’s choice.


The eligible people for training

School leavers looking to seek an early start of careers can learn a trade fast. It is also good for people looking to change their current job and start a new career.

Unemployed people can rethink their job options and learn a trade by taking suitable trade training and joining the vacant job slots. For people who ended military service and wanted to get new employment, trades sector training will be a boon. Also, people who are feeling redundant in some jobs can start a new career as trade professionals. 


In-demand trades 

The UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) says a substantial period of training that is work-based must go into the four categories of skilled trades. They are the following.

  • Construction and Buildings: Plumbers, electricians and bricklayers
  • Agriculture: Farming, grounds keeping, landscaping
  • Textiles: Printing, other skilled trades
  • Trades: in Metal, Electrical and Electronic industries

Workers adept in these trades will stay in high demand. The construction sector is battling a skills shortage. With industries like construction and engineering undergoing modernisation trained workers are in a crunch.

The demand is most high for workers using the latest technology and materials. A Nesta report on skills and employment trends until 2030 says automation will not impact trades sector jobs. 


High demand trades 

Most manual trade men such as plumbers, electricians, mechanics and construction workers will have high demand.

As per data, in the next five years, an additional 15 thousand electricians will be needed to feed the emerging vacancies. Carpenters and joiners are already in the top 20 high demand jobs list for the next 15 years. 

The demand for maintenance technicians is also huge and there are no curbs from automation. They are sought after people in all industries, including IT, government agencies, transport, aerospace, electronics and armed forces. 


Benefits of a vocational occupation training centre

Unlike universities, there is immense flexibility in taking trades-centric courses. The duration is not that long, entry barriers are not big, flexible timings of classes make the study very comfortable and goal-oriented.

  • Flexible classes--morning, afternoon and evening class 
  • Distance education or online education 
  • Affordable tuition fees compared to college and university 

People can join a vocational career in any of the following institutions.

High Schools: Many high schools offer vocational training to juniors and seniors, on-site or allied with a career development centre. 

Community College: Community colleges also provide vocational career training and offer associate degree programs and certificate programs.

Trade school: Vocational training offered through specialized technical institutes handle a single area including construction trades, culinary skills and healthcare. 


Eligibility for trade vocational admissions

Many institutes follow liberal admission requirements with an emphasis more on aptitude and other on-site skills. The basic entry requirement is a high school diploma or GED. Others require entrance exams or pre-requisite courses or training. 

Prospective students will also be asked to write an essay, take an admission interview or show the ability to perform effectively in a program before granting admission.


Well regulated courses 

In vocational education grooming, practical expertise is the key. In matters of attendance, academic and practical performance there will be strict benchmarks. There will be no compromise on grade points for advancement into different layers of the program. Apprenticeships are there under which students have to work under a seasoned professional at the career’s beginning.


Salary of tradesmen in the UK

One factor attracting prospective candidates into trade professions are the huge salary than many university-trained professions. 

Many studies have reported how UK tradesmen are strong earners compared to university graduates. A salary report by the Federation of Master Builders found that tradesmen like bricklayers and roofers are earning £42,000 a year while university graduates earn around £32,000 ($43, 400) a year. In certain regions, it is higher than that. In London, brickies take a salary of £90,000 a year.

  • Site managers - £51,266
  • Plumbers - £48,675
  • Supervisors - £48,407
  • Electricians - £47,265
  • Pharmacists - £42,252
  • Dentists - £40,268
  • Architects - £38,228
  • Teachers - £37,805
  • Accountants - £37,748

As can be seen, in many places, plumbers and electricians earn more salaries than architects and accountants. The top earners among tradespeople in the UK are site managers, supervisors and civil engineering operatives who are earning more than university degree-holding architects, teachers and accountants.

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