Do you live in the best city for your trade?

Published:  19 April, 2017

New online tool explores the top 20 best UK cities to work in the trades

A new digital tool that reveals the best cities in the UK to work in a particular trade has been launched by Ironmongery Direct.

As part of a new study, the architectural ironmongery supplier has examined which UK cities are the best places to start a career in the trades, based on information including local trade company competition, advertising costs and start-up survival rates.

Brighton, for example, is the best place to be a builder, carpenter or gardener, as job availability is high and start-ups tend to survive for about a year. Chester, on the other hand, is beter for plumbers, with a significant number of jobs available per capita, and high start-up survival rates.

With 25 new trade startups opening their doors every day,Ironmongery Direct believes its new tool can help people whose dream is to build their own construction company, or if a tradesperson is looking to up sticks and move elsewhere.

The tool can be used to see how the cities fare across the board, or filter by each measurement to tailor it to your needs, so no matter where you are in your career development – learning, looking for a job, or ready to start your own business – you're equipped to see which cities have the resources you need.

While different trades might be better off in different cities, in the survey these cities stood out as the overall top five best cities for the trades:

  • Brighton – best for builders, carpenters, and gardeners. Job availability is quite high across the board, and start-ups tend to survive for more than a year
  • Chester – Chester is the best option for plumbers, with high start-up survival rates, low advertising costs, and a significant number of jobs available per capita
  • Leicester – ideal for gardeners, as there are few competing companies in the area, but a high start-up survival rate makes it prime turf for new gardening companies
  • Coventry – the top location for electricians, there’s a high number of jobs available in the area, and advertising costs for electricians are low
  • Newcastle upon Tyne – one of the best places to build a construction career, there's a low amount of competition, with minimal advertising costs.

In contrast to trade-topping Brighton, London ranked only 14th overall on the list of 20, scoring most highly for construction workers, where it placed 7th due to a high number of courses available and a significant number of hardware stores.

Electricians wouldn't fare quite as well in London, however – for whom it placed only 17th, with high advertising costs and a low number of jobs available per capita.

"It's surprising to see the difference across industries," said Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect. "The city ranking is significantly different between plumbers and builders, for example. But it looks like Brighton could always use more tradespeople!"

The tool can be found online here -- http://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/research/best-tradesman-city/.