Britain’s tradespeople are riding a wave of optimism, according to a new survey commissioned by builder’s merchant Travis Perkins.
The survey, which polled 1,570 tradespeople across the UK, revealed that 48 percent are expecting to see an increase in work over the next 8 weeks. At the same time, 61 percent forecast their orders for materials will rise over the next two months.
A sharp uptick in demand for domestic repairs and improvements is seen as the primary source of growth and further optimism for tradespeople. This is underpinned by growing interest in projects that reduce energy consumption and bills at a time when the cost of living has risen appreciably.
The chief executive of Travis Perkins, Nick Roberts, said: ‘Having met the challenges posed by the pandemic head on, the resilience of the UK’s tradespeople continues to be tested, and they are, once again, having to adapt their businesses to deal with other challenges facing the wider economy. Nevertheless, they remain confident in the outlook for their businesses and, while many are having to adjust how they operate to deal with rising fuel prices, the increased demand for projects that improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock is encouraging.’
The Workers Union Says…
The outlook for businesses operating in the trades sector is sometimes forgotten in the mad scramble to assess the economic health of our country. And yet these are the workers that bind the fabric of our society together, tidying up the loose threads of failed washing machines, busted electrical circuits and missing roof tiles as they go.
During lockdown they were often the difference between a cold house and a functioning space in which families could hunker down in relative comfort. Their contribution was and is immense, and we must continue to support them as they deliver essential services to domestic and commercial premises alike.
But there is no doubt that they still face challenges. With prices at the pump soaring and the costs of raw materials on the rise, many tradespeople are faced with an awkward dilemma: should they absorb the costs themselves or pass them on to the customer?
This nation has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe. Much of it needs updating if we are to improve living standards and meet our carbon emissions targets. Local tradespeople are an integral part of this strategy, so any measures that help them to sustain their businesses must be part of our national conversation.