TrustMark Press Releases

Still regarding a tradesperson as just a 'white van man?' It's time to think again says TrustMark

Apr 20, 2016, 07:41 AM by Georgina Watkins

The public image of the UK builder, plumber or electrician is woefully out of date, according to a new report by TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed ‘find a tradesperson’ scheme for all trades in and around the home.

In the year that TrustMark celebrates its 10th anniversary, TrustMark has published a new report looking at what defines a true professional in today’s industry, highlighting some of the ways in which tradespeople are confounding negative stereotypes.

The report debunks myths around UK tradespeople lacking in professionalism by showcasing a wide range of behaviours that are continuing to build trust, confidence and loyalty among homeowners.

These include a commitment to excellent health and safety, training and skills development, and responsible waste management. The tradesmen and women interviewed by TrustMark take pride in smart branding, uniforms and van livery, as well as professional quotations and detailed contracts. They increasingly use digital tools, tablets and mobile technology to improve the way they communicate with customers at every stage of a job, and also put emphasis on respecting and safeguarding the customer’s home, minimising disruption and improving relationships with neighbours.

Accreditation is also increasingly being recognised as a mark of the tradesperson’s all-round professionalism as it ensures that technical competence, business processes and service frameworks are in place, helping homeowners to specify with confidence.

The report highlights the hard work, long hours and total commitment to good business practice among these TrustMark-registered firms.

Liz Male MBE, chairman of TrustMark says:

“This report provides a snapshot of the many thousands of smart, motivated and very hardworking men and women steadily changing the reputation and the public’s experience of an entire industry. I feel completely inspired by what I read here. TrustMark is proud to be part of this story. For 10 years we have worked with industry and consumer groups to raise standards and to signpost the public to reputable firms across a wide range of trades to do work on our homes and gardens. Of course, the work to tackle rogue traders is never over, and I still see a future full of new opportunities to improve the way the home repairs and improvements market operates. But TrustMark has helped many millions of people over the last 10 years, so today it’s right to celebrate the local firms who do so much to support homeowners and build a £27 billion economy. They epitomise a new era of professionalism across a wide range of trades, a million miles away from the old stereotypes of ‘white van man'.”

TrustMark’s report also tallies with additional findings from a recent survey by AXA Business Insurance, which found that 82% of the UK’s builders, painters, plumbers, joiners and electricians regularly go above and beyond the call of duty, completing small extra tasks at no charge. Looking after pets, helping with little errands or just looking out for vulnerable customers are examples of these firms’ common acts of kindness.

To demonstrate the values of modern professionalism, TrustMark has nominated 10 ‘TrustMark champions’ from 10 different trades. They are all capable, competent, responsible and put their customers first.

They include:

  • Richard Bickler, Arbour Design & Build, Borehamwood – Garden Design & Landscaping
  • Steve Dove, Steve Dove & Co, Petersfield - Painter and Decorator
  • Wendy Ayers, W A Electrical Services, Leicester – Electrician
  • Lee Goodwin, Oakleafe Property Services Ltd, Dagenham – Builder
  • Reg Harris, Urban Forestry, Watford – Arboriculturist
  • Graham Stone, Stonehouse Property Care, Henley – Flood recovery and resilience specialists
  • Karl Terry, Karl Terry Roofing Contractors, Tenterten – Roofer
  • Greg O’Donoghue, Just Windows and Doors, Ickenham – Glazier
  • Billy Wilgar, AC Wilgar, Kent – Heating and Plumbing
  • Pawlo Woloszyn, Bright and Fresh, Reading – Carpet cleaner

TrustMark was launched the public in 2006 as the Government-endorsed quality scheme that signposts consumers to reputable local tradespeople to do work in and around the home.  All TrustMark firms commit to work to Government-endorsed standards and, unlike any other scheme, have been checked for all three cornerstones of quality - their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database.

To download the TrustMark report, go to www.trustmark.org.uk/downloads/. 

For further information and to stay up-to-date with developments at TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of TrustMark - For further information or photos of the Ambassadors, please contact:  Georgina Watkins, Tel: 07595 158460, Email: gwatkins@trustmark.org.uk

Notes to editors

For further information about AXA Business Insurance, visit http://www.axa.co.uk/insurance/business/business-guardian-angel/successful-tradesman/