Right now, skilled tradespeople are in extremely high demand. If you follow any trades websites, or have looked at job postings online, you may have noticed that there are pages of opportunities for trades workers. There are far more jobs than there are skilled technicians.
Why is that? And if you’re a business owner struggling to hire technicians, what can you do?
Read on to find out more.
The rising demand for tradespeople can be linked to several factors. The first is that a large portion of the current trades workforce is retired, or will be retiring soon, and there aren’t enough people in the talent pipeline to take their place. That’s because the baby boomer generation was one of the last to pursue vocational career paths before the big push for college education came along. Over the past one to two generations, young adults have entered into two- and four-year colleges at a higher rate than ever before, seeking to obtain corporate careers, leaving trades positions unfilled. Now that the tail-end group of the baby boomer generation is getting closer to retirement, there are more open jobs in the trades than ever before.
The second reason is population growth. The United States has been growing steadily every year. In 2018, the population reached more than 326 million. Just 50 years ago, the population was only slightly above 200 million. As you might imagine, the more people there are, the more buildings must be built. Plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians are needed to install new systems in these new buildings, while still making repairs in the aging ones.
Third, people are more likely to request help from skilled technicians now than attempt to fix any problems on their own. As technology becomes more advanced, the average person doesn’t have the skills or knowledge required to take the DIY approach. HVAC systems, for example, are more fuel-efficient than ever, and are powered by complex technologies. Most people would rather hire someone they can trust to get the job done correctly, rather than try to fix or install something themselves.
What Can Be Done?
As a business owner needing to hire technicians, you’re in a better position than you may realize. While the pool of qualified candidates looking for jobs in the trades has shrunk, college degrees are becoming more expensive. There are a lot of young people looking for secure, good-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. Additionally, plenty of people are looking to make a career change, and the growth in online learning is making this change easier than ever.
What you need is a way to fuse all these elements together. You’ve got the jobs; you need technicians.
You need to grow your own workforce. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Reach out to your local high schools to ask if you can work with their career counselors.
- Begin an apprentice program within your business, pairing interested high school students with experienced technicians.
- Go to job fairs, display posters with technician salaries, and make it clear that no experience is required to become an apprentice with your company.
- Network in your community to learn about hiring and training strategies from your peers.
- Enroll your students in NexTech Academy, an online, self-paced technical training program from Nexstar Network that’s designed to turn students with little-to-no experience into competent technicians.
The technician shortage is real, and the competition for workers is only getting more intense. Help your business grow; change the future of your training and the future of your community. Take steps to grow your own workforce today.