From education to employment

Construction apprenticeships lead to a well-paid career

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB

Tradespeople can earn more than £50,000 a year, according to new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) which marks #NationalApprenticeshipWeek. 

The key statistics are:
  • Bricklayers, carpenters and plasters can command an average day rate of £175, equating to £53,200 a year;
  • Some tradespeople are paid up to £275 a day for their work;
  • 54% of construction bosses are struggling to hire bricklayers;
  • 53% are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners; and
  • 35% are struggling to hire plasterers.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said:

“There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship in construction. A trade apprenticeship not only offers the possibility of earning a good wage but provides an opportunity to set up your own business. The good news is that there plenty of vacancies in construction for young people with a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn.”

Berry concluded:

“Builders face numerous challenges going into the new decade that will require the creativity and fresh approach of the new generation to solve. These include tackling climate change, building thousands of well-designed homes, and digitising the built environment. I would encourage anyone interested in a construction apprenticeship to visit”

About the research: During December 2019, the FMB asked 357 builders across the UK what day rates they would typically pay three labour-only, experienced contractors – bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers. FMB found that a highly skilled and self-employed tradesperson working six days a week will earn on average £53,200 a year, taking into account the eight unpaid bank holidays.

1% of respondents to the same survey said that they would pay day rates of between £250 and £300 for each trade, meaning some builders could earn up to £83,600, also taking unpaid bank holidays into account.

The skills shortages data is taken from the same survey, where respondents were asked to report if they faced difficulty recruiting trades. 

The results of this are as follows:
  • Information about bricklaying apprenticeships is available here.
  • Information about carpentry apprenticeships is available here.
  • Information about plastering apprenticeships is available here.

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