After decades of encouraging nearly every high school graduate to pursue a 4-year degree and join the white-collar work force, we are now experiencing the negative backlash from the 4-year degree push. We are now in the middle of a skills gap crisis and business owners in the skilled trades sector are trying to find a solution.
According to the Department of Labor: “Increasing talent shortages and skill gaps are slowing the industry’s ability to expand and prosper.” The DOL shares several of the challenges that our country’s skilled trades are facing, including:
- Impending retirements of highly-skilled and experienced workers
- Trouble recruiting workers due to misunderstood industry image
- Attracting young recruits and women
- Staying on top of the latest industry advances
- Creating training models that effectively develop talent
The skills gap is not something that only affects trade company owners; it will be felt by any person who requires the skills of these laborers… which is everyone! Due to the lack of skilled workers who want to be electricians, contractors, mechanics, plumbers, welders, etc., the cost for services from these tradespeople will continue to rise. This correlation is a result of high recruitment and retention costs for skilled trade employers. Skilled trade workers are in a position where they know their skills are needed and can demand higher wages from their employers or they will threaten to look elsewhere or go out on their own.
So, how do we close the skills gap? It’s not going to happen overnight, but the movement is already in motion. Large corporations such as Lowe’s are already working to improve the crisis. Lowe’s trade skills director, Michael Mitchell, is spearheading a new organization called “Generation T”. Mitchell explains the purpose of this organization: “… to change how skilled trades are perceived and spotlight the opportunities the trade skills yield, such as economic mobility, independence and success” (Business Insider). This is also the mission of our corporation, Big Ideas, Inc.
We are bringing awareness and education for the skilled trades to communities nationwide. Our course instructors are some of the best in their field and create the foundation for their students to build a strong career in the trade of their choice. Join our mission to close the skills gap and help educate the next generation of skilled trade workers! Learn how to join and support our mission [here].