Sir Julian Brazier MP visits new Screwfix store

Leading trade supplier, Screwfix, was delighted to welcome local Member of Parliament Sir Julian Brazier to its new Whitstable store on Friday 24th February 2017.


The new store, which opened in July is one of more than 60 new stores to have opened in 2016, with Screwfix being one of the fastest growing retail businesses in the UK.


Screwfix employee over 9,000 people across the UK, the new Whitstable store employed 11 people from the local area. Sir Julian Brazier was given a tour of the new store where he met staff and customers


Paul Rawes, Branch Manager of the new store shared with Julian 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. Julian 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.


Paul Rawes 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.”


Sir Julian Brazier MP commented: “From builders and bricklayers to plumbers and electricians, tradespeople are the backbone of the economy and community, and Whitstable is no exception. Tradesmen and women build our schools, hospitals, homes and businesses and play a vital role in our communities.

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 or pop down to the new store which is located on Units 101-104 Harvey Drive, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3QZ