The UK locksmiths industry could best be described as being in a state of crisis. In most countries a locksmith requires a license, if you carry the tools and equipment to gain entry to or open almost any lock or property then some sort of regulation is undeniably necessary. sadly this is not the case in the United Kingdom.
Any one in the UK can set themselves up and advertise there services as a locksmith, they don’t need a license and they don’t need to be answerable to any governing body beyond the broad guidelines set down by British trading standards. The UK locksmiths industry is gradually becoming saturated with poorly Locksmith skilled, poorly trained and poorly equipped so called locksmiths.
As locksmiths working in Surrey, Kingston and London every year we see new companies starting up in our area of coverage. Many of these companies fail to see out a year in the trade, some do however do better. So why is this happening? There is no legislation to regulate the training of locksmiths in the United Kingdom. there are now countless locksmiths training schools scattered across London and Surrey offering two day training courses and claiming in that in those two days they will be able to learn everything they need to start up and trade as a locksmith. So you can learn everything you need to know? It used to take an apprentice locksmith five years or more before they were considered well versed in the locksmiths trade.
This influx of badly trained two day wonders is gradually strangling the industry, taking work from well established and highly skilled locksmiths and at the same time ruining the reputation of the trade with bad workman ship and excessive prices. So is there anything that can be done to counteract this trend? there are currently only two recognized official bodies for locksmiths in the UK, The Institute of Certified Locksmiths and the Master Locksmiths Association. Both of these bodies actively pursue tighter regulation within the UK locksmiths industry with a hope to achieving licensing for locksmiths in the future.
What i think will have an immediate impact on the industry and has already been in effect in our areas of London and Surrey is the global economic downturn. The consumer is becoming more shrewd and is shopping around, searching for higher quality and better prices. I think this is what may save the UK locksmiths industry, it may serve to ‘weed out’ some of the new start-ups, making the costs too high for them and the earnings too low… we can only hope so. If you would like to know more about this subject contact us at Keyworks Locksmiths Ltd.