The Most In-Demand Construction Trades in 2022

The construction sector is thriving again after a period of pandemic-induced stalling. With many sites re-starting, new work in the pipeline and projects like HS2 continuing to require staffing there is a huge demand right now for skilled people who can help the industry to evolve. But there are some construction trades that are more in demand than ever before right now – in particular, metal workers, carpenters and joiners, electricians and skilled wood trades.

Carpenters and joiners

Home improvement is one of the major trends that has driven up the need for carpenters and joiners, alongside commercial projects. In fact, in 2020, carpentry and joinery was the best performing skilled trade at a time when the popularity of trades jobs in general was on the rise. Home improvement continues to be a theme for many people – in the UK we spent £110 billion on it in 2021 – and general demand for those with carpentry and joinery skills is likely to remain strong. So strong, in fact, that the industry could struggle to keep up. Recent increases in vacancies unfilled show that there may be an urgent need for more people with this skill set across the UK, which is why it’s currently one of the most in-demand construction trades.

Metal workers

Metalworking is vitally important to the UK’s steel industry but skills shortages are a real problem. According to recent research, by 2049 there will be 1,000 fewer steel erectors in the UK and less than 10,000 qualified metal and plate workers. Those already in the industry have serious concerns about its future – 80% of metalworkers believe that it’s necessary to do more to encourage new workers to join the sector. 42% say that they think the industry is in jeopardy if the current skills shortage isn’t tackled.

Electricians

According to industry research, the UK is going to need an additional 15,000 skilled electricians by 2024 to keep up with demand. There was a robust need for people with electrician skills even before the pandemic and COVID-19 has done nothing to throw that off track – it remains one of the most in-demand of all the construction trades. It’s also one that is attracting new talent and it’s estimated that electrical installation trades will see an average annual recruitment of 3,400 by 2025.

Skilled wood trades

Perhaps the most in-demand of all the construction trades is skilled wood. The CITB predicts that, in terms of average annual recruitment, this is going to be the trade that sees the most activity. The skilled wood trades category includes a wide variety of different jobs across construction, including cabinet makers, wood machinists and furniture finishers who, together, are responsible for everything from office furniture to shelving and flooring.

Construction trades in general have seen a spike in demand in the past year. However, it’s these four skill sets – electrician, skilled wood trades, metal workers and carpenters and joiners – that are the most in-demand in 2022.

Construction offers something for almost everyone on the jobs front – these are just some of the roles that are available.

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