NEARLY a third (29%) of tradespeople are considering getting a second job in order to get by, a new UK-wide survey has revealed.
Carried out by designer radiator specialist, BestHeating, the findings also revealed that 85% are worried about the future of the industry.
It comes amidst the rising cost of materials, which 43% of respondents said has led to them being forced to increase their prices and are set to do so again in the coming months.
A further 85% are pessimistic about the next 12 months, with 45% most concerned about rising costs and 41% believing the ‘majority’ of customers won’t be able to afford the use of tradespeople.
Customers are already enquiring about discounts, with 35% of respondents revealing that they have agreed to cut prices. Of those under the age of 34, 47% said that they agreed to discounts, whilst only 27% of older tradesmen said yes to concessions.
To get through shortfalls and lower profits, 29% said that they think they will have to get a second job – either by training in another discipline to expand their services (16%) or moving industry altogether (13%). Some of the jobs mentioned include delivering parcels or working in a factory in their spare time.
Jordan Baldwin, an independent joiner from Bradford, said, “2022 was a tumultuous time for the industry, and despite being inundated with work from customers, I have noticed a lot more are shocked by the quotes provided to them and asked for deals to do multiple bits of work. The price of materials has shot through the roof which means profits are lower, in some places timber is as much as 50% more which I have largely taken out of my earnings rather than put it all on the consumer.”
“Every other trade I speak to is experiencing the same uncertainty right now and I don’t envisage this changing throughout this year. I have been quite lucky and taken on contracts and projects with larger construction companies although this means that I will be doing fewer independent projects, and others haven’t been so lucky. Some are working extra hours or more days to ensure they can make ends meet but I think unless circumstances change, more tradespeople will look to change careers because it’s a worrying time.”
Marek Kokocki, buying director of BestHeating, commented, “Tradespeople are integral to society, whether it’s plumbers fixing heating issues or electricians rewiring a house, so it is upsetting to see so many fearing for their future.
“Despite being in extremely high demand last year, the majority have massive worries due to the costs which they are generally eating up themselves to keep customers happy. It’s important that we continue to utilise the services of tradespeople and use their knowledge to keep our homes safe, in working order and heated.”