Blog: September 2017

Want a secure job? Then train in a trade

Recent research shows a worrying dearth of young people coming into the trades, as our skilled workforce of plumbers, electricians, builders and carpenters are ageing and will be retiring in the next decade.

So young people, if you don't have that Oxbridge first in maths needed to get into Goldman Sachs and you worry about robots taking over loads of desk jobs, just as they've taken over many of the roles in car factories, the trades still look like a good bet for fairly long term employment. After all, try to imagine robots building the Shard, plumbing it and fitting out its electrics.. Exactly. 

So which trades are the best paid and indeed which countries pay the best? Because if you're a plumber or an electrician, your skills will be welcomed wherever you want to go and live.
Electrical Direct have created an infographic that focuses on salaries within the construction industry. In the visual, electricians, plumbers and carpenters are the key focus within five different countries. It also drills into the specifics on which region within each country offers the best pay and what qualifications you'll need.  
Electricians in the UK
Here, an electrician can earn a good £30,500 a year, though a newly qualified electrician’s salary usually falls between £19,000 and £22,000. The hourly rate outside London usually comes in at around £25 to £50.

Top five regions with the highest salaries for electricians:

London - £36,028
Bristol - £32,669
Portsmouth - £32,364
Brighton - £32,058
Glasgow - £32,058

Education is important to start a career in this industry. Qualifications you might need:
National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Diploma at Level 3 in Electrotechnical Services.
National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Diploma at Level 3 in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment.
Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations – if part of an apprenticeship.

Plumbers in the UK
People who progress to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3 can around £18,000 pa and after five years expect to be on  £25,000. Those who are self-employed and very experienced tend to earn £30,000 to £40,000 - and more in the big cities.
Education requirements
City and Guilds National Vocational Qualification at Level 2 (England and Wales).
Scottish Vocational Qualification at Level 3 (Scotland).
You can start work as a plumber straight after leaving school if you can find an apprenticeship. These are a good idea as you're being paid as you learn on the job and you'll work for around 30 hours a week over a two-year placement.

Carpenters in the UK
The average salary for carpenters falls between £25,000 - £40,000 — those who work as team leaders/project managers can earn considerably more though. However, those who begin as an apprentice will usually have a starting salary of around £16,000.
Educational requirements:
Level 1 Award in Basic Construction or Wood Operations.
Level 1/2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Wood Occupations.
Level 1/2 Certificate/Diploma in Construction Crafts.
Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry.
To find out more about pay around the world, check out the infographic. 
Careers, Construction, Development, Jobs, painting and decorating, self build, eco home
Ocean plastic eco pants

If your home is eco you're no doubt zealous about wearing eco-friendly clothes too, non? So organic cotton, organic wool, linen, hemp.. and, er, dare we ask about your underwear?

Natural sustainable yarns are brilliant, but you could also introduce ocean plastic into the mix when it comes to buying pants. Because ocean plastic is being heavily fished and turned into pellets that can be extruded into fibres that make super softy silky fabrics - among them one called Smoothshell.

And you can buy Smoothshell underwear from Nordic fashion brand The Other Danish Guy, whose Ocean Discovery range includes boxer shorts and trunks for the man with an environmental conscience.
We like the sound of this - it's a range of underwear that's not only helping to clean up the oceans but is also sending a message to the fashion world to get with it and use high tech recycled yarns in its products.
The Other Danish Guy ships to the UK
Environment and ecology, Lifestyle, upcycling, eco friendly, eco home