Checkatrade has launched two campaigns aimed at encouraging young people into the trades, after figures revealed a growing interest in careers such as carpentry, plumbing and electrics.
A campaign called ‘Get In the Game’ is to gamify the industry by reimagining tradespeople in superhero gaming skins, turning tasks like wiring, brickwork and carpentry into ‘point of view’ videos. It will aim to gather CVs from young people, connecting them to opportunities with employers.
A careers programme for schools called ‘Try a Trade’ has also been launched. Delivered with educational organisation Amazing Apprenticeships, it will help schools educate learners about trades careers, as well as provide educational experiential days for year 10 and 11 students.
Both initiatives have been started after survey data from Checkatrade revealed a growing demand for schools to provide more advice on careers in trades.
A total of 24% of respondents aged between 14 and 25 said there was too much focus on further education and university, while 21% said there was a lack of information about the possibilities in vocational jobs like the trades.
Richard Harpin, Checkatrade’s chair who also founded HomeServe, said: “For too long, the trades have been overlooked for more conventional educational routes such as university. But with these two campaigns, we’re urging young people to consider a career in these fantastically rewarding, well-paid, and important jobs.
“It’s vital we capture the attention and imaginations of talented, young people to enter this profession. We know they want more information about the industry, so we must do all we can to inform and connect them.
“As we know from the Trade Skills Index, demand for professions like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians will surge over the next decade, and we need great people in them, so we must act now.”
The campaigns have been launched after the Trade Skills Index report released earlier this year highlighted an “urgent and alarming” shortage in the trades.
According to the report, the UK will need almost a million new plumbers, bricklayers and other tradespeople by 2032, just to keep pace with demand.
The report said the issue is being exacerbated by the post-Brexit exodus of European workers and an ageing workforce, one third of whom are aged over 50 and will likely retire within the next 10 years.