A new nationwide study by BestHeating has revealed that one in 10 tradespeople are thinking about leaving the industry in the next 12 months following a difficult year that has seen them lose business and struggle to make ends meet.
Of the 2,000 polled, 85% stated that they were pessimistic about the future of their trade, with many considering a change in career due to the uncertainty in their current job and the extra financial pressures of being self-employed.
A total of 16% are thinking of taking a second job within another trade to improve their economic situation, and an additional one in seven are looking into a second job outside of the industry, with roles such as delivery drivers, warehouse assistants and restaurant workers all mentioned.
Whilst inflation is falling, it still sits at 4.6%, and the research found that tradespeople have felt the burden of this with 35% heavily discounting prices for customers so that they can keep their work. Bristol is the city that has done this most, where 64% of workers have cut their prices to appease clients.
The research shows that homeowners across the nation are trying to cut costs wherever they can, and one in six tradespeople has noticed that they have been called to fix botched jobs that customers attempted themselves before calling in help.
A further 44% were concerned about the rising cost of materials and believe their finances will take a major hit in the coming months. Tradespeople with more experience fear this most, with 61% of those 55 and older stating this, compared to just 37% of those aged between 18 and 24.
Throughout 2023 one in five have experienced a longer delay in sourcing materials, which has led to them losing work or having to cut the quote for a job even further to appease customers.
Marek Kokocki, buying director of BestHeating, said: “It’s worrying to see that so many tradespeople across the UK have major concerns about the industry and are thinking of taking a second job or even changing roles altogether.
“It’s important that the nation continues to support them where possible and hire the correct person for important tasks rather than attempt a botched job that puts their home at risk.
“Businesses that supply materials or products can also play their part by providing better schemes that entice tradespeople to purchase their product with discounts as this has major benefits for their own organisation too.”