Britain faces a shortage of skilled tradesmen like plumbers, builders and bricklayers. The number working as window cleaners, carpenters or painters and decorators is also in decline. Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “Being a tradesman is no longer the job it used to be because wages and stability have been cut by mass immigration from Eastern Europe.” Bricklayers have fallen by 19 per cent, while window cleaners have dropped 18 per cent and joiners are down 17 per cent. The number of cleaners has shot up by 33 per cent since 2009 as people working longer hours themselves struggle to find time to clean their own homes. Female window-cleaning and building businesses are up by 10 and eight per cent, while women painters and decorators have risen by five per cent. There has also been a four per cent rise in chimney sweep numbers in the past three years, thought to be due to a rise in the popularity of open fires. The report, based on an analysis of 300,000 small businesses, said the findings reflected the decline in the construction industry since 2009. Jason Stockwood, chief executive of Simply Business, said: "It is worrying to see a decline in some trades in recent years, as the slow economy has hit spending on infrastructure and home improvements."