With recent analysis predicting an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will be needed over the next five years, it is clear businesses have to make developing the next generation of electricians a priority.
Although the pandemic has provided the trade with many challenges over the last seven months, one positive to come out of the coronavirus crisis could be the opportunity it provides to attract new people into the industry.
In a bid to encourage companies within the industry to invest in the electricians of tomorrow and to aid those within the trade currently out of work find a job, we have mapped out the areas of the UK where there are the biggest shortages of electricians.
Having analysed a job website for all of the vacancies for electricians, we found Middlesex – which has 574 openings – is the county with the highest number of electrician jobs going and ultimately the area with biggest shortage of electricians. With 566 job vacancies, Surrey is second, followed by Hertfordshire and London.
The areas in the UK with the biggest shortages of electricians
||Number of ‘electrician’ job vacancies
||Tyne ＆ Wear
||Isle of Man
With no job vacancies, the Scottish county of Wigtownshire is the area with the fewest openings for electricians. Caithness in Scotland, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, Moray, Scotland, Selkirkshire, Scotland and Sutherland, Scotland, all have just one job vacancy in their respective areas also.
While the majority of existing vacancies are for fully qualified electricians, there are a number of apprentice and trainee roles available as well.
Founder member of recruitment company District4, Ian McDiarmid, specialises in recruiting within the electrical industry and said employers are beginning to widen their talent pools.
He said: “Over the last year or so businesses, especially those who have deals with the bigger contractors, have started to invest in additional training courses for new starters. The emphasis is definitely starting to shift from solely employing skilled electricians. Now, individuals who have the right work ethic and soft skills are being given the opportunity to be trained up which is a promising sign for the future.
“Like all trades, electricians have been hit hard as a result of the pandemic but we are slowly starting to see the job market recover.”
It’s not just the electrical industry which is suffering from a lack of qualified employees though with a government report in 2016 finding skill shortages were responsible for a quarter of all job vacancies. Recent analysis has also found 43 per cent of vacancies in skilled trades were as a result of skills shortages, with 13 per cent including electricians.
As the demand for new houses continues to grow and smart home installations increase, the need for businesses to invest in the next generation of electricians could not be clearer.
Andy Laycock (Head of Sales) of ERF said: “With the industry needing around 15,000 fully qualified electricians over the next five years, businesses really have got to make developing the next generation of electricians a priority. Although the pandemic has thrown up many challenges for us all, there is no doubting the opportunity it provides to attract new people into the trade.
“Our research shows there are several areas in the UK where qualified electricians are in extremely high demand and we hope businesses can incorporate this insight into their recruitment strategies as they build towards developing the electricians of tomorrow.
“We see through our customers, that being an electrician really is an extremely rewarding job and the skills you develop while training enable you to focus on a wide range of specialisms later down the line. Due to there being such a demand for new starters, there are also lots of fantastic opportunities to progress in a relatively short space of time.”
Five reasons why you should become an electrician
Electricity plays a huge part in all of our daily lives and as the population grows the demand for electricians is only going to increase. Here are five reasons why you should consider pursuing a career as an electrician.
A well paid career
Due to qualified electricians being such a vital component to the economic growth of the country, it is unsurprising it is a career which pays extremely well compared with other trades. In fact, data recently published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found electricians earn the most out of all the trades with an average salary of £33,495. While money isn’t everything, we all like to feel as though we are being paid relative to the value of service we offer and as an electrician this often proves to be the case.
Varied working environment
One of the great perks of being an electrician is the fact you aren’t stuck in the same workspace everyday. Being an electrician is a very hands-on job and while one day you might be wiring a new home, the next you could be repairing an electrical panel at a warehouse. You are therefore constantly being faced with new problems and then ultimately coming up with the solutions which is an extremely valuable life skill to have.
Plan your own career path
As has been mentioned, you learn lots of different skills when you’re training to become an electrician which provides you with the opportunity to shape your own career path. From installations, repairs or upgrades – there’s lots of scope for variety.
While a lot of careers these days require people to go to university which results in them accumulating a huge amount of student debt, you don’t need to do this to become an electrician. Many businesses are now paying part of or even all of the cost of training courses in a bid to attract more people into the trade. With the demand for electricians continuing to rise, employers are only going to continue investing in the next generation of electricians.
A demand for your services
Due to the ongoing shortage of electricians, those in the trade are struggling to cope with the demand for their services. With the need for new housing more evident than ever and smart home technology becoming all the more desirable there are going to be no shortage of opportunities within the electrical industry for many years to come.
We analysed more 7,500 vacancies which had been posted on a job website under the search term ‘electrician’. We then broke this data down by the regions of the UK they were being advertised in. From this we found Middlesex had the highest number of job vacancies in this particular field and ultimately the biggest shortage of electricians.
The data is correct as of November 2020.