Strong work levels and business optimism for UK tradespeople

  • Majority of UK tradespeople continued to work through the lockdown
  • UK trades say business levels are the same or better than 12 months ago
  • Nearly one in three UK tradespeople are busier than expected

UK tradespeople are reporting strong levels of work activity in the first half of 2020 despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to research undertaken independently on behalf of Screwfix, 88 per cent of the plumbers, electricians, builders and carpenters questioned in Screwfix’s Trade Pulse* index, said they are working at the moment, with 72 per cent in work through lockdown during April and 77 per cent in May. 

More than half (56 per cent) of tradespeople say they are preparing at least as many quotes for jobs as they were this time last year and, nearly one in three (32 per cent) are busier than expected. 

Many tradespeople remain optimistic for the next 12 months, with more than two thirds expecting business activity to remain the same or improve.

John Mewett, CEO of Screwfix, comments: “Remaining open throughout lockdown meant our colleagues were working hard serving our customers to ensure tradespeople could continue their essential work.  This enabled us to see first-hand how busy the nation’s tradespeople were, many of whom play a crucial role in keeping homes warm, safe and with power.  The past few months have been hugely challenging for everyone and, our customers have had to adapt to new ways of working on site to keep themselves and their customers safe.  That’s why it’s even more reassuring to see that these latest findings show many tradespeople remain in work and are preparing quotes for future jobs.

“We want to thank and reward tradespeople for everything they do and especially for their efforts over the last few months. To do this, we’re launching our annual competition to find Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson, to recognise those who go above and beyond for their customers, the industry and their communities.  As previous winners show, winning the accolade can have a positive impact on their business, so it’s definitely worth entering!”

Darren McGhee, a roofer from North Lanarkshire, is the current champion of Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson and says: “Winning this competition is the ultimate recognition a tradesperson can receive. In the past year, I have continued to grow my business while helping to raise the standards of the roofing industry. This year has been tough for everybody, so now more than ever, I would definitely encourage others to enter this life changing opportunity!”

Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson is a nationwide competition.  One exceptional winner will win the profile-boosting accolade and £20,000 trade bundle. Entries for Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson are open until 30 August. To find out more and to enter, please search: Screwfix Top Tradesperson.

*Screwfix Trade Pulse is an index which surveys more than 500 UK tradespeople to track work levels and optimism among the trade.