A STUDY by Markel Direct, the specialist insurer of tradespeople, has discovered the trades in short supply across 46 UK cities.

The study analysed the search volume for skilled trades across the UK and compared the figures to the number of businesses in that trade operating within the location.

The data found York had shortages in eight out of 13 trades, behind Norwich, which had the most with nine.

York’s shortages included carpenters, carpet fitters, handypersons, painters and decorators, plasterers, tilers, and the trade with the most search volume in York - plumbers.

York isn’t the only city facing a plumber shortage. The wider study revealed there’s a shortage of that trade in 12 out of 46 cities analysed.

But overall, there’s even a greater need for handypersons, with insufficient supply to meet demand in 15 of the 46 cities analysed.

The study also determined when the peaks of searches occurred in each area, when it may be harder to get hold of a tradesperson.

In York, bricklayers were in most demand in January and February; builders (January and November), carpenters (September and October), carpet fitters (October and November), electrician (November and December), handyman/person (October), joiner (October and November), landscaper (February and October), painter and decorator (February and October), plasterer (January and August), plumber (November and December), roofer (August and September), tiler (October and November) and window fitter (October).

In the overall analysis it was found that September and January were the peak months for the most trades in the most locations.

This is likely due to September being when most children go back to school/when the summer holiday period ends, and January being the beginning of a new year and the start of renovation goals.

However, in York, October and November were the peak months for most trades.

As part of the study of 1,000 UK homeowners, 46 per cent of respondents reported struggling to hire a tradesperson, with the main reasons being no availability (46 per cent) and shortages of the trade (34 per cent).

Additionally, some 28 per cent of homeowners revealed to have started a DIY job but needed to call in professional help to take over or rectify mistakes. Plumbing repairs and maintenance topped the list, followed by painting and decorating, and tree removal in third position.

Rob Rees, divisional director at Markel Direct, said: “Whilst it can be tempting to attempt repairs or DIY tasks yourself, the risk of getting something wrong could result in only more problems to fix. Hiring an accredited and insured tradesperson with years of experience will ensure the job is done to a high standard and, most importantly, safely.”