The number of tradesmen in the UK has dropped dramatically in the past four years, according to research released today by Simply Business.
Plumbers have been the worst hit, with their numbers dwindling by 25% since 2009. The number of bricklayers has reduced by 19% and window cleaners by 18%. There have also been reductions in other trades such as roofing, gardening and carpentry.
The study also revealed that the recession has significantly affected the incomes of tradesmen, which could have contributed to so many of them going out of business. The amount paid to tradesmen for home improvements has plummeted by 40% since 2001.
However, some trade businesses are bucking the trend – particularly those run by women. Despite the poor results for male tradesmen, female-run bricklaying businesses have increased by 16% and window cleaning businesses run by women are up by 10%.
Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business told the Daily Mail: ‘Independent tradesmen provide a vital, often highly-skilled service to both home owners and the commercial industry. While there are still thousands of talented tradesmen doing a fantastic job across the country, investment is needed to ensure there is enough work to keep them all afloat.