Procurement · 7 October 2016

Revealed: The best UK regions to become a tradesman

tradespeople
London was reported to have the highest proportion of tradespeople per capita, with an average ratio of one tradesperson for every 131 homes

The South East of England has more active skilled tradespeople than any other region in the UK, according to a new report released by Direct Line for Business.

Analysis from the business insurer revealed that London had the highest proportion of tradespeople per capita, offering greater choice and availability than any other part of the country.

The total figure in the capital city was reported to be 26,705 – an average ratio of one tradesman for every 131 homes.

The amount of active tradespeople in the North East of England was found to be much lower, with just under 4,000 servicing the region. Proportionately, every 305 households are sharing a tradesman.

Commenting on the findings, the head of Direct Line for Business, Nick Breton, praised the value of entrepreneurial opportunities in the world of skilled labour.

“Developing electrical, plumbing, plastering and other trade skills is recognised as a valuable road to success,” he said.

There are various ways in which sole traders and freelancers could improve working opportunities and secure more customers.

In March this year, Natwest’s Marcelino Castrillo explained the benefits of collaboration between skilled workers in generating more frequent and more valuable business.

He told Business Advice: “With so many other businesses out there just like yours, the quickest way to growth can be through a simple and informal tie-up or collaboration.

“If you’re a plumber fitting out a new bathroom, working alongside a carpenter who you can recommend to do other jobs around a client’s house can gain you more lucrative and profitable contracts.”

Castrillo also spoke of the value in apprenticeships in driving growth as a sole trading or self-employed tradesman.

“Working with an apprentice gives you the opportunity to expand horizons, take on more work or clients and slowly begin to grow your business, as well as allowing you to pass on your skills and knowledge to someone else, boosting their future growth potential,” he said.

Breton went on to suggest that investing in the correct business protection would help sole traders and freelancers stand out from the competition in regions that had the most active tradespeople.

“In these areas where the numbers are high, a key differentiator for tradespeople can be having the right level insurance in place to protect themselves, their customers and livelihood,” he said.

Read on to find out five proven strategies to drive growth as a sole trader.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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