Skilled Workers Earn More than College Graduates, UK Economists Say

Workers in traditional trades are now making more than the average university graduate, and that’s making people think twice about their educational decisions. In some cases, the difference between the two is quite dramatic. For instance, London bricklayers are now earning upwards of £90,000 a year. The average wage for university graduates in England is closer to £32,000 a year, and it might even be lower in Wales and Scotland.


Students were told to prepare for careers in charted accountancy and related financial fields for years. Architecture firms and other service organizations were allegedly going to never stop hiring. That being said, recent economic problems as well as changing market conditions are ensuring that those who work in more traditional trades are capable of becoming big earners.


In fact, some of these trades are quickly becoming the most in-demand jobs across the UK.

The Changing Face of Britain’s Most In-Demand Positions

People are still changing careers midway through their lives, but they’re now looking at very different training options than they might have in the past. For instance, you might hear people say they want to become an electrician later in life because their original academic career hasn’t worked out quite the way that they had imagined it would have.


That’s because electricians are among those most needed in today’s economy. Economists have bickered back and forth about why the union is suffering through a shortage of skilled people at the moment. Regardless of which of the many theories is closest to the truth, the fact remains that electricians, builders and contractors are among those most needed today.


Automotive technicians and insulation installers are also in relatively high demand, and this is probably not going to change regardless of the overall direction of the economy.. Since there are comparatively few people training to take these positions, it’s likely that many of them will still be available in several years. That leaves a large chunk of the labor market unfilled, which could be a real opportunity for those who want to either change careers or enter the workforce for the first time.


Construction industry training board representatives have claimed that the nation will need approximately 125,000 new skilled workers in the next few years to maintain existing houses and proceed to finish several major building projects.


While these figures do appear to be accurate, even if they aren’t it’s clear the the labor market won’t look the same in just a few years.

The Ever Changing Domestic Jobs Market

Economists don’t often mention it, but the UK is still a major manufacturing power. That alone is continuing to increase the amount of demand for spot welders and other individuals with certain technical skills. Individuals in the HVAC industry are also in demand by those who represent the manufacturing sector.


While these individuals are sort of a tertiary adjunct to the sector itself, they perform an extremely important service to it. They’re also needed by homeowners who have to have furnaces and other household equipment replaced, which has further increased the demand for individuals with these skills. That being said, new college graduates by and large lack the experience needed to break into these fields.


Certain market sectors have too many people applying for a relatively small number of jobs, which has ensured that a sizable percentage of graduates are underemployed. Training programs for certain types of contractors won’t last that long, so the union is likely to see at least some of these former students enter a secondary training period before they enter the workforce.


Quite a few people who previously held a different career will likely enter these programs as well. However, there’s also the possibility that these might eventually cause labor shortages in other sectors. Some financial institutions have actually put together their own fintech boot camps, which might actually prove attractive to those who don’t care for any of these trade industry programs.


Few people have the ability to truly predict what the economy might look like in 5-10 years. However, it seems safe to say that those who learn a new trade now might be able to hedge out those entering the financial and legal sectors in near future.

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