Karin Smyth MP visits new Bristol Screwfix store

Leading trade supplier, Screwfix, was delighted to welcome local Member of Parliament Karin Smyth MP to its new Bristol – Hengrove store on Friday 15th July.


The new store, which opened in January is one of more than 40 new stores to have opened in 2016 already, as one of the fastest growing retail businesses in the UK.


Screwfix employee over 9,000 people across the UK, the new Bristol – Hengrove store will initially employ 14 people from the local area. Karin Smyth was given a tour of the new store where she met store staff.


Jon Dunning Area Manager of the new store shared with Karin some of the feedback from its trade customers and some of the key issues, opportunities and challenges facing people in the trades in the local area.


Last year Screwfix launched their Tradesman Manifesto* which highlighted the desire of UK tradesmen and women to hire their own apprentices, and called upon the Government to support this increase in the trades. Many of the plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other tradespeople questioned, had little or no experience of taking on apprentices with only a small percentage taking on an apprentice in the last year.


In response to this, Screwfix alongside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills launched a handy guide for tradespeople to pick up in store offering guidance and funding advice on how to go about hiring an apprentice. Karin was keen to learn more about how Screwfix were helping people in the trades hire apprentices.


For one in three tradespeople, cost is the biggest barrier to taking on an apprentice and research shows more available funding would allow small businesses to hire and train the tradesmen and women of tomorrow.


Jon Dunning, Screwfix Area Manager commented: “As a key supplier to the trade, we have a great relationship with our trade customers and can really help amplify their voice by getting their message across on visits like todays.


Many of our customers are busier than ever right now so it’s important we work closely with the wider industry and the Government to consider ways to help them and to encourage growth in their businesses.”


Karin Smyth MP said: “Screwfix is an important local employer, and I was pleased to visit the new Hengrove store to meet staff and shoppers, and to discuss a number of key issues facing local tradespeople.

“I was particularly interested to learn more about Screwfix’s Apprentice Guide. The Government has set an ambitious target to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020, which I support, and it is clear that businesses like Screwfix have a key role to play if this target is to be successfully achieved.

“Aside from the really positive atmosphere in the store itself, it was good to hear from some of the staff about how they appreciate Screwfix’s flexibility as an employer, and how they feel their manager’s understand and act on their need for a proper work-life balance.”

It was great to visit the local Screwfix store and get a chance to discuss the priorities and the key issues facing tradespeople in the area. It was particularly interesting to discuss the importance of a skilled workforce and apprenticeships. The Government has set out its target to create 3 million new apprenticeships during this Parliament and it is clear that responsible companies like Screwfix will play a key role in this, through their apprentice guide and other initiatives.

For more information on Screwfix visit www.screwfix.com or pop down to the new store which is located on Enterprise Trade Centre, Hengrove, BS4 1UN.


*Screwfix Tradesman Manifesto is a survey of more than 600 UK tradesmen undertaken to understand what is important to them and how they are reacting to the constantly changing economic and technological landscapes. It was submitted to the Chancellor in March 2015.