With the UK Construction Industry growth figures being revised upwards for last year, the fears of a construction slow down seem to have abated...

The government’s pledge to offer incentives for small to medium companies to take on extra apprentices has also met with wide approval, and the findings of a recent survey should spur all sectors of the industry to ensure those apprentices are trained to the highest degree and helped to attain the highest qualifications. 

In the first study of its kind by Find a Future, the company behind Britain’s entry into the Worldskills competition, research has found that collectively, UK consumers spend 72 billion pounds a year on the services of skilled tradespeople.

This new comprehensive survey, Skills Spending Index, covers a large number of recognised trades such as florists, plumbers, mechanics, beauticians, builders, and of course, painters and decorators.

As one would expect in an age of computer managed vehicles, car mechanics came top of the pile with 40% of those surveyed maintaining they could not operate without their friendly car mechanic. Plumbers were next on the list at 39%. Chefs also fared well due to the number of consumers who choose to dine out, while painters and decorators received a healthy 10% of that spent – which is impressive as the DIY market is of course a huge industry itself.

Financially, chefs and cooks came top of the pile with the general public spending an average 342GBP eating out. The use of mechanics to keep vehicles in good shape cost an average 213GBP, and visits to the hairdresser 125GBP. The building trade received an average 99GBP per person of the 72 billion pounds. From the results of the survey, in an average year, UK adults run up a total of nearly 1500 GBP each, calling on the services of the UK’s skilled workforce. 

Regional and Gender Differences:

Unsurprisingly, London residents register the highest spend per person on skilled tradespeople at almost 2300 GPB, and Wales the lowest at less than half that with just 1087 GBP. While those living in the East of the country top the mechanics list with an average 254 GBP spent, around the West Midlands they spend less than 175 GBP keeping their vehicles running. 

Overall, women tend to spend more than men on skilled services at almost 1450 GBP per year, 50 GBP more than men. Again rather surprisingly, men spend more on builders, 115 GBP against the ladies 84 GBP, while, less-surprisingly, the men will spend over 350 GBP dining out, compared to the ladies 334 GBP.

During the survey, 72% of those questioned maintained they would be prepared to pay extra for the services of skilled, highly qualified professional tradesmen holding top qualifications, certificates of excellence - and being able to show excellent commendations from satisfied clients. Reason enough for the painting and decorating industry to ensure they continue high quality training to provide the skilled painters and decorators of the future.