With all the unknowns in the past couple of years, many businesses and trades are looking for some stability in 2022. Although it can be hard to predict what will happen in the next year, a lot of people are hoping that a lot of things return to pre-coronavirus levels and a state of normality.
To help guide tradespeople into 2022, here are our 5 predictions of what could happen this year.
As the UK continues to move towards a greener and more sustainable future, every industry and individual is going to be impacted, and trades are no different. One of the current impacts on trade workers is the expansion of clear air zones in the UK. London has expanded their Ultra Low Emissions Zone and a number of other cities are set to introduce low emissions zones (if they have not already done so) including Portsmouth, Bath, Bristol and Manchester. Although some tradespeople will not be required to pay the charges, it depends on the vehicle and is another consideration for local businesses.
There is also a focus from customers and businesses to consider more environmentally-friendly materials and business practices. This includes going paperless for invoices and contracts, choosing more eco-friendly materials and choosing electric vehicles over petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles. Businesses could also start looking at ways to offset their carbon footprint through the planting of trees. All of these business practices don’t need to be adopted overnight but should be in any trade businesses sight and mind during 2022.
Here at Checkatrade, we’re keen to encourage green initiatives and changes within the trade industry. If you’re a trade who is currently rolling out green initiatives, we would like to include you in our upcoming blog series so get in touch today!
Change of building uses
Not one many trade businesses may have considered but in 2022, there is likely to be a focus on transforming office spaces for other uses. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, fewer businesses are requiring their employees to spend 5 days a week in the office, and are either choosing to downsize their office space or scrap it altogether. This offers a great opportunity to a variety of trades who could be employed to transform disused office spaces into residential properties, retail outlets or leisure spaces.
Continued rising costs and demand
As with many living and product prices, the cost of raw materials across all trades is likely to rise in the next few months if it hasn’t already. This is partly due to the high levels of demand from homeowners and businesses working on renovation projects during lockdowns, but also the increasing production costs for materials, including energy prices.
Labourers and skilled workforces are also going to face challenges in 2022. As the shortage of skilled trade workers continues to grow, businesses are going to have to pay and fight for those workers available and wanting to work. This will have a negative effect on business overheads and profits. However, those skilled workers looking for work, they’re more likely to choose where and what kind of work they’re willing to carry out. Checkout this Community discussion here on material costs and shortages and let us know what its like for your trade and industry right now.
Restarting of delayed projects
Due to COVID-19, a large number of projects have been on hold because companies were unable to obtain materials, employees were on sick leave or the projects were deemed not a priority. In fact, an estimated 4,500 construction projects were put on hold in 2020 in the UK, and these have to restart at some point. Once construction restarts, a lot of other trades will feel the domino effect and will restart previously-postponed projects.
If there are projects on your books that have been delayed, there are a number of things that you can do to keep on top of these including:
- Keep in contact with customers at regular intervals to keep them informed of your availability, but also not to pressure them unless there is a formal contract in place.
- If there is a paper trail, be sure to follow up with an email so everything is on record. Consider using an app such as Powered Now you'll find in the offers and discounts page in the Members area here which keeps paperwork and communications in one place.
- Don’t forget to ask for advice from other trades if you’re unsure about restarting a project or are having issues with a client. There are plenty of other people out there who have been through a similar situation who can offer advice. Start a new post here
In 2022, there is likely to be a continued focus on apprenticeships. The government scheme that offers businesses a £3,000 incentive to hire new apprentices is due to end in January 2022. However, this does mean that beyond January, apprenticeships will be in short supply or that businesses should consider not offering them. There is plenty of other support available for businesses considering hiring an apprentice including HomeServe Foundation which offer help and support to both businesses and apprentices.
Apprenticeships are a great way for traders to bring in someone and shape them with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive within the industry. They’re also available to a range of individuals from school leavers to individuals looking to change their career or upskill in their current role. Apprenticeships are an effective and productive way to grow talent and skills within the trade industry and it will be no surprise to see more companies offering them in 2022.
If you’re looking for more information on apprenticeships, check out our ultimate guide to business apprenticeships.
Find out more
We’re all hoping for a bit more stability this year, after the past couple of years, and although a lot could change in 2022, Checkatrade will always be on your side. Why not head to the Trades Talk board to share knowledge with other trades just like you, or head to our Advice Centre for tips and tricks on growing your business to make 2022 your best year yet. Also, keep a lookout for our latest Checkatrade emails or Member Memo landing in your inbox where we share lots of important news, industry advice, even more competitions and membership information, all in one place!
If you need further support, do not hesitate to reach out to me through direct message or our Membership Advice Team who can offer further advice and support on [email protected]
Did you know that our chosen charity of the year to support is Mind? If you’re looking for mental health support, consider reaching out to then where they are there to ensure no one faces problems on their own. Click here >>