Ahead of ‘National Tradesmen Day’ on 16th September 2022, the find-a-tradesperson platform Rated People is highlighting the need for more inclusive language to break down stereotypes and encourage more people into trade careers, as part of an initiative to address the skills shortage.
Researchers at Rated People interviewed 3,000 UK residents, tradespeople and 16-18-year-old school leavers to uncover how much non-inclusive language, like ‘tradesmen’, is still being used and what effect it’s having.
The study reveals that 80% of UK residents still use the term ‘tradesmen’ to refer to all people working within the industry. Three quarters (73%) of 16-18-year-olds heard the term ‘tradesmen’ as a collective term for all people who work in trade professions, and over 40% (42%) say they would be more likely to consider a career in the trades industry if more inclusive language was used in career advice.
Additionally, the study also discovered less than half (42%) of 16-18-year-old girls were given a trade career as a potential option at school, whereas 65% of boys had trade careers communicated to them as viable career choices. According to Government reports, just 4% of school-leavers opted for an apprenticeship last year.
Rated People hopes UK schools will evaluate the quality of career advice and the effect that non-inclusive language is having on young people who are making further education and career choices, and is calling for change by making 16th September 2022 the first ‘National Tradespeople Day’ – renaming ‘National Tradesmen Day’.
To further promote the diversity message the platform has launched a TV advert, featuring tradespeople and showing the work they’re doing, and not who they are, or what they look like. Rated People says it hopes the advert will show 'no-one judges a skilled pair of hands for who they are, they just care they’re doing a good job'.
Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People said: “Many factors have contributed to the workforce shortages across the industry – from an ageing workforce and reduced numbers of young people getting into trade professions, to Brexit and poor career advice. With demand higher than ever, it’s critical that more is done to encourage young people into the industry. For an industry that offers great financial security and job fulfilment, more needs to be done to ensure young people see this as a welcoming environment where they can flourish – where everybody, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexuality, can thrive”