A MAN who claims he makes £150,000 a year says people don’t take his job seriously as no one wants to do it even though there are loads of openings.
Electrician and project manager Danny Webb, 42, believes tradespeople aren’t being “taken seriously” in society.
Danny Webb says tradespeople are being ‘taken seriously’ in society
He says the workload in the industry is often too high and his mental health has suffered in recent years.
However, he warned that men, especially in the trades are reluctant to talk about their mental situation due to fears of being seen as “weak”.
Danny thinks there is a shortage of new recruits to the industry because of the attitude people have towards it.
The dad-of-one is now using his Instagram page to act as an “electrician influencer” and try to “make the profession look cool”.
Being a self-employed electrician and project manager Danny says he earns up to £150,000 a year – although this is before tax.
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness week, Danny told the Mirror: “My social media presence is all about making our profession look ‘cool’ and to be taken seriously.
“At school I was told if I didn’t do well, I’d end up on a building site.
“The sooner this mentality changes, the sooner this issue will be taken more seriously.
“Construction workers build the buildings we sleep in, the water we wash with and the electrics that power everything we use.”
The dad, from Melbourne, Derbyshire, said he was unsurprised the trades sector will soon enough need nearly one million new recruits just to keep pace with the demand.
A report from Checkatrade.com’s Trade Skills Index revealed people are leaving it because the workload is so high.
Danny, who is known on Instagram as @Sparkymilan, added that having to deal with management pressures, workloads without enough skilled people, hard physical effort, customers, unrealistic goals as well as other factors increase anxieties and stress levels that are then taken home.
He said that having to deal with those issue as well as the physically demanding work leads to those types of mental issues feeling more unique.
Danny admitted he had struggled with his own mental health issues a number of times and said everyone in the trades does.
He wants it given the same attention as physical health.
Danny though said there is a good living to be earned and for active, creative people who like using their hands, working in the trades is a “perfect fit”.
He said he liked that every day is different and with his job he got to show his creative side – and then being able to stand back afterwards and say to himself “wow, I did that”.
Danny advised anyone thinking of joining the industry to “stay positive and hopefully you’ll enjoy your career at the same time.”
The report from Checkatrade.com found that two-thirds of construction workers don’t discuss their mental health and, shockingly, that men in the trades are three times more likely to take their own life than the average.
The mental health charity Mind recommends anyone struggling to create clear boundaries between work and home should ensure they don’t let work spill over into their personal life.
The charity also says workers should reclaim their lunch breaks and ensure they have time to eat, make a drink or some of the things they need in order to stay energised.
Danny, who sold cheap properties before retraining to become an electrician in around 2008, said he wasn’t surprised by the stats the report revealed.
He said other workers around you will just get on with the job so there was a fear people would be replaced if you were seen as being “weak”.
Checkatrade.com has started its Get In programme as a way to encourage more young people to take up a career in the trades to plug the huge skills gap.