Addressing the Skilled Trades Gap in Today’s Modern Workforce
Here’s how traditional skilled trades organizations can integrate the new workforce with the knowledge needed to fill important gaps in the skilled labor force.
When visiting an industrial manufacturing worksite or an oil rig, it’s now commonplace to see older workers approaching retirement who have worked in their trade for decades. They most likely started off as young twenty-somethings who were given a mentor to help show them the tricks of the trade. In many cases, they are generational workers who watched a grandfather, father or uncle go to a worksite and do the same job they’re doing now. But, that’s all about to change.
Why? For starters, there’s a new generation that graduated during the pandemic and are now entering the workforce. They’re college-educated and have been repetitively told that getting a degree means a white-collar job, steady income and stability. Add to that a volatile economic environment in the early-to-mid 2010s that forced many to leave trade work behind, and you have a skilled workforce deficit that equals a gap of 444,000 workers in oil and gas; 570,000 jobs in manufacturing; 330,000 workers in construction; 20,000 tower climbers in telecom; and as many as 5.5 million transition-related renewable energy jobs.