Screwfix launches ‘Trade Link’ to help tradespeople to support the future generation

  • The omnichannel retailer to the trade launches ‘Trade Link’ to support tradespeople taking on apprentices and hosting T-Level students on industry placements.
  • A 2023 study by Kingfisher, revealed a shortfall of more than 250,000 qualified tradespeople would result in £98bn lost economic growth by 2030
  • As the UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week and T-Level Thursday, Trade Link will support tradespeople to recruit the next-generation of talent to help bridge the industry skills gap

As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, omnichannel retailer Screwfix has launched Trade Link to promote the wealth of careers available in the trades.

Trade Link is a dedicated hub on Screwfix’s website offering advice and support to tradespeople on how they can support the next generation to go into the trades.

Supporting its more than 11m customers, Trade Link offers simple guidance on how tradespeople can go about hiring an apprentice, as well as explaining how tradespeople can support students aged 16-19 years studying T–Level qualifications, which require industry experience alongside classroom learning.

Customers will be able to read case studies from fellow tradespeople about their experience, explore guidance about recruiting apprentices and see how Screwfix is supporting the future of the trade across its business.

Trade Link reinforces the omnichannel retailer’s commitment to the future of the trade industry. Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2024 opened for entries this week, marking the 10th anniversary of the annual competition. Screwfix Trade Apprentice champions the very best apprentices from the UK and Ireland, with one worthy winner taking away a career-boosting trade bundle worth £10k.

Alongside the annual Trade Apprentice competition, Screwfix has also so far funded 20 trade apprenticeships through its partnership with flexi-job apprenticeship agency, TrAC.

A 2023 study by Screwfix’s parent company Kingfisher, revealed that a looming shortfall of more than 250,000 qualified tradespeople by 2030 is on course to cost the country £98bn in lost economic growth, with the biggest shortages set to be among electricians, plumbing and heating installers, and carpenters/joiners.

John Mewett, Screwfix CEO said: “Research by Kingfisher shows that we are facing a potential shortage of 250,000 qualified tradespeople by 2030. It’s vital that we work with the Department for Education, colleges, schools, and our customers to promote careers in the trade to ensure there is a strong pipeline of young talent going into the industry. We know and understand the complexities of taking on apprentices and our customers can play a key role in protecting the future of the industry. We hope Trade Link is a valuable resource that provides a simple starting point for our customers, who are looking to support the next generation of tradespeople.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Apprenticeships are crucial to giving people from all backgrounds the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity while addressing skills gaps and helping to grow our economy.

“So, it is brilliant news that Screwfix, one of our Top 100 apprentice employers, is encouraging tradespeople to support the next generation through its new ‘Trade Link’ campaign.

“Screwfix understands the apprenticeship levy and uses it well. They know the wealth of benefits T Levels and apprentices bring to the industry, and I hope this campaign inspires more businesses to take on apprentices or T Level students of their own.”