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  Posted by: electime      11th December 2020

Half of the UK has a shortfall of more than 50 electricians, according to new analysis into the shortage of tradespeople in the electrical industry.

The study by electrical wholesaler ERF identified Middlesex as the area of the UK which has the biggest shortage of electricians, followed by Surrey and Hertfordshire.

Having analysed data from a job website for all of the vacancies for electricians, the research found there are 574 job openings in Middlesex. In Surrey there are 566 and in Hertfordshire 555.

In total, 56 out of the 112 areas of the UK listed on the job website had more than 50 vacancies for electricians with 15 places having over 100.

On the other hand, with no job vacancies, the Scottish county of Wigtownshire is the area with the fewest openings for electricians. Caithness in Scotland, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, Moray, Scotland, Selkirkshire, Scotland and Sutherland, Scotland, all have just one job vacancy in their respective areas also.

The areas in the UK with the biggest shortage of electricians

Rank Location Number of ‘electrician’ job vacancies
1 Middlesex 574
2 Surrey 566
3 Hertfordshire 555
4 London 531
5 Buckinghamshire 195
6 Greater Manchester 181
7 Leicestershire 143
8 Berkshire 142
8 West Yorkshire 142
10 Derbyshire 115
11 Cheshire 112
12 Merseyside 111

While the alarming shortage of qualified electricians has been a well documented problem for a number of years now, with more people than ever considering a career change, the pandemic could provide businesses with the perfect opportunity to address this pressing issue.

The research by ERF aims to encourage companies within the industry to invest in the electricians of tomorrow and to aid those within the trade currently out of work find a job.

Although the majority of existing vacancies are for fully qualified electricians, there are also a number of apprentice and trainee roles available as well.

Founder member of recruitment company District4, Ian McDiarmid, specialises in recruiting within the electrical industry and said employers are beginning to widen their talent pools.

He said: “Over the last year or so, businesses – especially those who have deals with the bigger contractors – have started to invest in additional training courses for new starters. The emphasis is definitely starting to shift from solely employing skilled electricians. Now, individuals who have the right work ethic and soft skills are being given the opportunity to be trained up which is a promising sign for the future.

“Like all trades, electricians have been hit hard as a result of the pandemic but we are slowly starting to see the job market recover.”

It’s not just the electrical industry which is suffering from a lack of qualified employees though, with a government report in 2016 finding skill shortages were responsible for a quarter of all job vacancies. Recent analysis has also found that 43 per cent of vacancies in skilled trades were as a result of skills shortages, with 13 per cent including electricians.

As the demand for new houses continues to grow and smart home installations increase, the need for businesses to invest in the next generation of electricians could not be clearer.

Head of sales at ERF Electrical, Andy Laycock, said: “With the industry needing around 15,000 fully qualified electricians over the next five years, businesses really have got to make developing the next generation of electricians a priority. Although the pandemic has thrown up many challenges for us all, there is no doubting the opportunity it provides to attract new people into the trade.

“Our research shows there are several areas in the UK where qualified electricians are in extremely high demand and we hope businesses can incorporate this insight into their recruitment strategies as they build towards developing the electricians of tomorrow.