Despite good wages, benefits and job security, the welding and utilities industries do not have enough workers. One of the biggest factors that plays into this reality is the encouragement that children get from a young age to pursue careers that require a four-year degree. Children are not encouraged toward or even exposed to paths involving skilled trades, and the welding and utilities worker shortage sheds light on the widespread need to teach young people about every learning opportunity available to them.
Unfortunately, the shortage of welders and millwrights is also due in part to the false belief that students who study skilled trades and attend trade school are not as intelligent as those who attend a traditional college or university. To make the reality of the shortage worse, the average age of a skilled worker in these industries is 55. As these workers reach retirement age, the shortage will continue to become more dire if young people do not start entering the industry.
So, to adapt to this situation, the welding and utilities industries have created and promoted new education opportunities. One example is the American Welding Society’s SENSE (Schools Excelling through National Standards Education) program, which is an accredited training opportunity for young people looking to become welders. Also, the federal government has begun to support skilled trades by writing legislation that protects and supports students who choose to attend trade school.
Trade schools offer incredible career opportunities for students who do not see themselves in the traditional office environment for the duration of their careers. They are also a low-cost way to enter a robust and exciting industry, since trade schools don’t present the ridiculous cost barrier that four-year colleges and universities do.
Contact Southern Field for more information or see our Employment tab.