October 1

Why the Younger Generation Is Turning Away From Trade Jobs


Looking at the World of Work

Everybody knows that the workplace has changed dramatically over recent decades, and these changes have only sharpened since the pandemic. A trend that is replicated nationwide sees younger people increasingly turning towards college degrees, with the aim of taking on service and technology-based jobs. As older generations retire (around 25% of the trades workforce is over 55 years old) and their skills leave the trades, this turning away from the manual trades has led to an increasing wait for trade jobs to be filled.


The Lack of Trade Schools

Students are increasingly turning away from vocational qualifications. When polled, both younger people and their parents say that trade jobs is a worthwhile career option, but only 16% are very likely to seriously think about entering into a skilled trade-based career.


The flip side to this is the turn towards seeing college degrees as more. This attitude has gained ground even though 30% of high school grads who attended four-year public colleges still had not received their degrees or qualifications within a whole six years.


Even more than this, today’s students underestimate the earning potential of these roles, with the best-paid trade school jobs offering a high-paying route into stable careers, even for those even in junior positions.


Push Towards More Technology Jobs

In the modern world, it is easy to think that technology is the heart of everything. But it is vocational trades, the builders, the scaffolders, all the window cleaning, and gutter cleaning, that keeps the world ticking over. The turning away from these roles is why in April of this year there were over 650,000 unfilled trade jobs in the US.


Changing the Image

To solve this widespread and growing issue, we need to change the image of trade jobs. We need to remind the younger generations not only of the high-paying potential of these roles but the steady careers that they can afford, the reliable and fulfilling futures in lines of work that are well-established and will always be here.


Currently, our best and brightest see academic careers as the only way to go, and the jobs that they turn away from are being filled with skilled migrant workers who know the value of these trades.


Long-lasting, well-paying trade jobs should always be seen as a viable, worthwhile way to earn your way in the world, to carve out a career for yourself. If you, or anybody you know, are ever looking to learn more about life in the trades or are looking for employment, you can always reach out to us here at PWCBA.


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